One of the biggest fears of people living with HIV is having to disclose their status to their employer, risking possible discrimination.
The good news is that in most professions, you are not legally required to tell an employer, or prospective employer, that you are HIV positive with only a few exceptions, the main one being healthcare.
Doctors, nurses and dentists who perform Exposure Prone Procedures (EPPs) are required to disclose their HIV status.
EPPs include procedures performed in a confined body cavity where there is poor visibility and a risk of being cut by implements, teeth or bones.
HIV positive healthcare workers are currently not permitted to perform EPPs.
If you are positive you won’t be accepted into the Defence Forces, and if you contract HIV while working for the ADF, you will most likely be discharged from the service.
People working in the aviation and mining industries undergo regular medical assessments to check their fitness to work without risk to their or others health and safety.
If you are affected by your HIV medication while working in a mine, you have a duty of care to tell your supervisor, but you do not need to disclose what the medication is for.
According to Civil Aviation Safety Authority rules, if you contract HIV while working as a pilot or air traffic controller, you must stop working and notify the Designated Aviation Medical Examiner.
Finally, sex workers in Queensland do not need to disclose to clients that they are HIV positive but are not permitted to work in a licensed brothel.
They can offer services privately as sole operators, and like all sex workers in Queensland, must use condoms or dams for sexual intercourse or oral sex.
If your employer takes adverse action against you after you disclose your HIV status like giving you the sack, or reducing your hours, you may have a claim for unlawful discrimination, and should seek urgent legal advice.
If you have suffered discrimination on the basis of your HIV status, we can help. Please call Discrimination Claims today on 1300 853 837.