Your work

Most people with HIV simply continue working as they always have. Since you cannot pass on HIV in your day-to-day contact with people, you do not have to worry about doing or not doing anything in particular. Many people with HIVwerk are in very good health. Generally speaking, people with HIV are ill no more often than people who do not have HIV. It might be that you are so upset after hearing that you have HIV that you cannot work for a short while. It could also be that you will struggle with health problems for a while because you have only discovered that you have HIV when your immune system is already very weak.

Telling about your HIV
You might feel comfortable telling a co-worker with whom you get along very well about your
HIV. If you expect to have to call in sick due to your HIV, it could be a good idea to tell the company doctor about your HIV. He or she is not allowed to tell your employer which condition you have, since the company doctor must keep confidential whatever you tell him or her. Just to be sure, tell your company doctor that you do not want him or her to tell anyone else.

Calling in sick
If you call in sick for work, you do not have to tell your employer what is wrong with you. That means you do not have to tell them about your diagnosis. Your employer is allowed to ask you when you think you will be able to start working again and which kind of work you will be capable of doing when you return, however.

Applying for a job
When you are applying for a job, a prospective employer is not allowed to ask you questions about your health. If they do ask you such questions, you do not have to answer or you can say that the question are irrelevant. When applying for a job, the only thing you need to say is whether you think that you will need to work less in the coming half year as a result of your health or that you may not be able to work as hard. But even then, you do not have to say that it has anything to do with HIV. Also, during a physical examination, the company doctor may not ask you about HIV and he or she is not allowed to test you for HIV. Some professions (such as pilots) might form an exception, since those involve special demands.

In the free guide 'Positief leert' from Hiv Vereniging Nederland you can find all kinds of information about dealing with HIV in education. The guide contains interviews with pupils and parents with HIV. It covers the situation at child day-care centres, primary schools, secondary schools and institutions of higher learning. The guide is in Dutch but contains a summary in English (pdf).

In the free guide 'Positief werkt' from Hiv Vereniging Nederland you can find all kinds of information about working with HIV. It is meant for people who have HIV, but also for employers. It deals with subjects such as working abroad, what to say during job interviews, the role of the company doctor, starting your own business and possibilities for re-integration into the workplace. The guide is in Dutch but contains a summary in English.

You can get a copy of Positief leert and Positief werkt from your HIV nurse or from the Servicepunt of the Hiv Vereniging (020-689-2577- monday, tuesday and thursday from 2 PM till 10 PM).

Positve working

In general, people with HIV can function normally in the labour market. The last few years have seen rapid strides in the treatment of HIV infection. New possibilities for treatment have had a positive influence on lifespan and thepositive working quality of life. This has consequences on the possibilities for work.

Today, employees with HIV need not be excluded from working. In fact, staying in work is the objective and stopping work has become the exception. Company doctors and insurance medical offi cers play an active role by ‘safeguarding work’ of employees with HIV.

In the brochure Positive working (summary) information is provided for people with HIV and employers (pdf.)

People with HIV can get Positive working by ordering it  from the Servicepunt of the Hiv Vereniging (Dutch HIV Association): 020 - 689 25 77, 2 PM – 10 PM Mon, Tues and Thurs. This is the Dutch version, including the English summary.

Positive learning

In today's world most people with HIV (including most children and youth) can live a good and normal life. They arecover positive learning infected by the same virus and receive the same medication. This medication consists of HIV-antiretrovirals (combination therapy) which children use in smaller doses than adults. Thanks to this treatment, which has been available since 1996, people with HIV can function normally.

On the whole, children and young people with HIV can perform well at school. On average, they need to go to hospital three or four times a year, but other than that, one does not notice anything different about them.

In the brochure Positive learning information is provided for parents and teachers (pdf.)


Hiv Vereniging Nederland

Eerste Helmersstraat 17


020 6 160 160
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020 689 25 77

For questions about living with HIV. Available monday, tuesday and thursday from 2 PM till 10 PM

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