Telling your employer
Many people living with HIV do not tell their employer or anyone at their place of work, because they see no need to. For the vast majority of jobs, there is no legal requirement to tell your employer if you are diagnosed with HIV.
If you do decide to tell your current employer, or a future employer, you would be covered by the UK’s Equality Act 2010, which makes it illegal for there to be discrimination against someone at work because of their HIV status.
If you're worried about your employer knowing, then remember that, in most cases, there is no reason your employer would need to know that you have HIV. Even if you need to take sick leave because of HIV, there is usually no need for your employer to know that HIV is the cause. If your doctor is writing a sick note or report, a vague term like 'chronic viral illness' or a description of the symptoms you have been experiencing is likely to be an acceptable substitute.
Colleagues may also ask you questions about reasons for appointments at the hospital or with your doctor, or about any sickness absences. It can be useful to think about how you would reply to such questions.
You may have a trusted colleague at work and you may consider telling them. There can be pros and cons and you should think about these. One the one hand, you may find another source of support, but at the other extreme you could find that information about your HIV becomes common knowledge. As with family, friends and partners, be clear with your colleague about whether or not they can share this information with anyone else.
For most jobs, there is no legal requirement to tell your employer if you have HIV, but there are some exceptions. One important exception is work in health care which involves ‘exposure-prone procedures’, such as surgery or dentistry.
Once again, you may find it useful to talk to someone you can trust, or to discuss the issues involved with someone at your clinic, such as a health adviser, or a helpline such as THT Direct (0808 802 1221).
You can find out more about your rights and responsibilities in employment in the section Work.