Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Insurance, Benefits Programs & HIV

Aspiring to work in the US.

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novemberguy:
Hi guys. I just want to know if I still have the chance to work in the United States as  a Physical Therapist? I have been poz since 2010, not on ARVs since my CD4 levels doesn't necessitate yet. I am from the Philippines and a lot of agencies & employers are recruiting PTs here to work in the US since it pays better. I really dream of working there but I heard employers are requiring a medical exam (that includes HIV testing) at the latter part of the processes: after the NPTE (national PT exam), working VISA application, etc etc. And obviously if they knew i am poz they won't accept me... =(   Any insights and help? esp. from people in the US.

BTW I have eligibility to take the NPTE in the state of NY. But I did not pursue processing my papers after I knew I was poz because I was thinking if it will be a waste of money, effort and time because in the end I won't be accepted by the employers once they discover in the medical exam that I am poz. Processing these things are expensive but I am willing to process it if I have an assurance that I will be accepted.

The agency told me before in a casual conversation that potential applicants who fail in the medical exam (those who are sick from TB, AIDS etc) aren't being employed to the US. They consider them as business loss.

Miss Philicia:
The federal government no longer requires HIV testing as a condition for a visa, but in terms of a work visa they do require proof of "ability to support yourself" so in effect you would need to provide asset proof and/or medical insurance that would cover costs of medical treatment. You may not be on medication currently, but obviously that can change quickly so I'm not sure how that would affect your application.

As far as an individual agency or workplace requiring this of foreign applicants I really can't say, but perhaps it's related to what I outlined above.

For reference read this, specifically section 8.

JR Gabbard:

--- Quote from: novemberguy on October 17, 2012, 11:31:32 AM ---Hi guys. I just want to know if I still have the chance to work in the United States as  a Physical Therapist? I have been poz since 2010, not on ARVs since my CD4 levels doesn't necessitate yet. I am from the Philippines and a lot of agencies & employers are recruiting PTs here to work in the US since it pays better. I really dream of working there but I heard employers are requiring a medical exam (that includes HIV testing) at the latter part of the processes: after the NPTE (national PT exam), working VISA application, etc etc. And obviously if they knew i am poz they won't accept me... =(   Any insights and help? esp. from people in the US.

BTW I have eligibility to take the NPTE in the state of NY. But I did not pursue processing my papers after I knew I was poz because I was thinking if it will be a waste of money, effort and time because in the end I won't be accepted by the employers once they discover in the medical exam that I am poz. Processing these things are expensive but I am willing to process it if I have an assurance that I will be accepted.

The agency told me before in a casual conversation that potential applicants who fail in the medical exam (those who are sick from TB, AIDS etc) aren't being employed to the US. They consider them as business loss.

--- End quote ---
Hi novemberguy,
Welcome to the boards!
Are you sure that testing HIV+ will cause you to fail the medical exam?  Did the agency tell you that explicitly?  If not, ask.  If you are otherwise healthy, there might not be a problem.
I can't say whether this agency has a policy against employing or referring HIV+ workers.  I don't even know if that kind of discrimination is legal in the Phillipines.  I can only tell you that the US doesn't take HIV status into consideration any longer, for immigration purposes.
If the agency does have a problem with your HIV status, and you are eligible to sit for license exams in the states, and you still want to come here, you should give it a shot.

novemberguy:

--- Quote from: JR Gabbard on October 19, 2012, 12:10:11 AM ---Hi novemberguy,
Welcome to the boards!
Are you sure that testing HIV+ will cause you to fail the medical exam?  Did the agency tell you that explicitly?  If not, ask.  If you are otherwise healthy, there might not be a problem.
I can't say whether this agency has a policy against employing or referring HIV+ workers.  I don't even know if that kind of discrimination is legal in the Phillipines.  I can only tell you that the US doesn't take HIV status into consideration any longer, for immigration purposes.
If the agency does have a problem with your HIV status, and you are eligible to sit for license exams in the states, and you still want to come here, you should give it a shot.

--- End quote ---

Thanks for your encouragement JR Gabbard. Well you know it's not easy for me to ask that to an agency because of my fear that they might disclose my inquiry to anyone especially to people who know me in the same field where I am in now. You know I am not confident with confidentiality of info with people here. it's the culture. They are not very much conscious of those things. But I think when I had this informal conversation with the owner of the agency she quite said that they could fix problems with health to help Filipinos be employed in the US but not TB, AIDS & psychiatric problems. Those they can't employ to the US. That's why I wanna know if I go to a direct employer & not through an agency will I still be accepted despite testing positive? Given that the position I'm applying is an allied health.

JR Gabbard:

--- Quote from: novemberguy on October 19, 2012, 01:58:37 PM ---That's why I wanna know if I go to a direct employer & not through an agency will I still be accepted despite testing positive? Given that the position I'm applying is an allied health.

--- End quote ---
HIV should not give you any problems if you go through a direct employer in the US.  It is illegal here for any employer to discriminate against someone based on a disability, if you are capable of doing the job.  They can't even ask about HIV status on a job application.  If it comes up in a pre-hiring physical exam, those results cannot be disclosed to anyone.  So you would have protection.
The thing about going directly to an employer might be your visa.  I'm pretty sure the agency you spoke with would have arranged your immigration documents for you.  If you go the other route, either you or your prospective employer will need to get you a work visa.  In addition you would need a tourist visa for your time spent here getting your license, and finding a job.
Best of luck!

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