AIDS and HIV Infection • Being tested
The HIV antibody test and employment
- In the vast majority of occupations and occupational settings, work does not involve a risk of transmitting HIV between workers or from worker to client. The following recommendations have been put forward on AIDS and the workplace.
- Pre-employment HIV/AIDS testing as part of assessing fitness to work is unnecessary and should NOT be required. This applies to both direct methods such as HIV testing and indirect assessment of risk behaviours and questioning the applicant about HIV tests already taken. Pre-employment HIV/AIDS screening for insurance or other purposes raises serious concerns about discrimination, and merits close scrutiny.
- For persons currently employed, HIV/AIDS screening, whether direct or indirect, should NOT be required.
- All medical information, including HIV/AIDS status, must be kept confidential.
- Employees should not be required to inform the employer regarding their HIV/AIDS status.
- Persons in the workplace who are HIV-infected (or perceived to be) must be protected from stigmatization and discrimination by co-workers, unions, employers and clients. Information and education are essential to maintain a climate of mutual understanding necessary to ensure this protection.
- HIV-infected employees should not be discriminated against with respect to their access to and receipt of benefits from statutory social security programmes and occupationally related schemes.
- HIV infection alone does not limit fitness to work. If fitness to work is impaired by HIV-related illness, reasonable alternative working arrangements should be made.
- HIV infection is not a cause for termination of employment. As with many other illnesses, persons with HIV-related illnesses should be allowed to work for as long as they are medically fit for available, appropriate work.
While these measures are designed to protect your rights if you are HIV-infected, you also have a responsibility to adopt behaviour that does not put others in your workplace at risk of infection.