Should I say something?

Should I confide in my employer and colleagues? There is no easy answer to this question.

On the one hand, it can be a relief to put all your cards on the table. Some HIV-positive employees receive great support from their bosses and colleagues. In addition, you are not faced with the dilemma of having to explain frequent doctor's appointments or having to take medication in secret.

Unfortunately, however, openness also often results in discrimination. This can range from gossip, to bullying, right up to dismissal. The reason for dismissal is usually colleagues’ fears of infection, or the employer’s concern that the HIV-positive person's work capacity will be reduced.

It is important to know: in almost all cases, a dismissal on the grounds of HIV-status is not lawful. You can challenge such a dismissal.

A counseling session at an AIDS service organization can help you decide whether to be open about your HIV-status.

Many HIV-positive employees choose a middle path: they only inform some, carefully chosen, colleagues.