CHIVA Logo

Enhancing the health and social wellbeing of children and young people living with HIV

Work

People living with HIV can do most jobs in the UK. If you would like to be a surgeon, midwife, dentist or pilot, you can.

Screen_Shot_2020-10-21_at_12.47.47.png

Click on the image above to read the BBC article about the first pilot in the UK to talk openly about living with HIV. A person living with HIV doing these jobs, would just need to have more regular blood tests to make sure their viral load remains undetectable. 

The only job a person living with HIV in the UK cannot currently do is a frontline position as a member of the armed forces. The armed forces have a duty of care to their staff, which includes making sure staff can access any medicine they may need. People who work on the frontline can go anywhere in the world for work and because of this, anybody with an ongoing medical condition that needs regular medication cannot be a frontline member of the armed forces. This is because the employers wouldn't be able the guarantee you would still have access to the medication required to keep you well. 

For more information, read this article by NAT.

Talking about your HIV at work 

People living with HIV are working in a range of jobs across the UK. 

Did you know that there are only a small number of roles that require someone with HIV to share their HIV status at work?

In the UK, if you want to become a dentist, surgeon, midwife or commercial pilot (for example, someone who flies people to holiday destinations), then you need to tell your employer about your HIV status. You can still do these jobs, you just need to share your HIV status. 

For the vast majority of jobs, people with HIV aren't required to share their HIV status at work. The decision to tell an employer is yours alone. It is important to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. You may be worried about discrimination, but telling your employer may give you the extra support you need. For example, time off for medical appointments.

There is a UK law called the Equality Act that protects people with HIV from discrimination in the workplace. It also means that your employer should keep your status confidential and make adjustments to support you at work.

The Work edition (of the Spotlight Series) focuses on a range of people working across the UK in different professions, from healthcare to sports, from the arts to hospitality and everything in between. 

Through these videos, we hope to show you how and why people with HIV are choosing to tell their employer, if at all. Most importantly, we hope to show you how they are succeeding in the workplace and their careers.

SPOTLIGHT ON.. THE WORK EDITION

Introduction

Introducing The Work edition of CHIVA Spotlight Series with Bakita interviewing a range of people living with HIV in different UK professions, from the arts to sports. How does HIV feature in people's day to day work?

Working in Healthcare, Campaigning and Studying

In this video, we talk to Horcelie about being a health assistant, campaigners, activist and artist.

Working in Theatre and Being Self-employed. 

In this video, we talk to Nathaniel, an award-winning theatre-maker, writer and performer. He talks about being self-employed, using the arts to share his story and how his HIV status propelled him to the stage in First Time and channel 4's Its A Sin.

Working in Theatre Administration

In this video, we talk to Niamh, who has an admin role in the theatre. She shares what it was like telling her manager about her HIV status and her manager’s reaction. Niamh chose to share when she first started taking HIV treatment. She also speaks about there being “no wrong path” even when things don’t go as you had expected.

Working in Wellbeing and Retail 

In this video, we talk to Mel about her career in wellbeing and mindfulness and her current and previous roles in retail and hospitality.

Working in IT 

In this video, we talk to Och about being a Data Insight and Analytics Lead and why he chose to share his HIV status with specific colleagues, rather than his whole team.

Working in Sports 

In this video, we talk to Sam about being a rowing coach and university student.

Working in Healthcare 

In this video, we talk to LeaSuwanna about training to be a nurse, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working in Heavy Industry 

In this video, we talk to Peter about working in an area called heavy industry. His company creates and fixes baking tins for large companies.