You do not have to tell anyone your HIV status. If you have recently had a positive HIV test, we would suggest telling: your GP, future partners and your close friends and family. Anyone who will support you and help you.
The issue of employment is trickier. Most people do not have to tell their employer, if they do not want to. Those working in specific industries, such as healthcare, have different regulations.
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (DDA) ,the definition of someone who is considered to be disabled by the Act was extended to include those who are HIV positive. People living with HIV (including the person, and their immediate family and carers) are protected from unfair discrimination, dismissal or unfair recruitment, promotion or training practices by the Act.
Employers have to take reasonable steps to prevent harassment and discrimination by colleagues, and others in the work place. They must also make reasonable adjustments to working practices. This could include: changing working hours, allowing a different break structure, and ability to take time off to see a doctor. You do need to be honest with your employer about your status, so that they can put in place these changes. Both for you, and others who are living with HIV (now and in the future).
In a recent survey by the National AIDS Trust and City University, the researchers found, that HIV status did not change performance at work for employers or satisfaction with work for employees.
63% of those with HIV worked in the private sector in the UK. 58% of those surveyed said that HIV had no impact on their working life. However 1 in 3 of those surveyed believed they had lost their job because of their status. Nearly 20% reported some kind of harassment or bullying including breaches in confidentiality. 89% of those people who had asked for adjustments had had them granted.
If you have a problem with your HIV status at work, please contact the National AIDS Trust or other HIV organisation who will be happy to help you.
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