August #115 : Getting Out on the Job - by Lucile Scott

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Table of Contents
 

Bite The Bullet




Gazing into Our Genes

Touch That Dial!

A New Med for Old HIV

Doctor's Diary - August 2005

Haart-less and Healthy

In the Swim

A Summer's Day

Block Those Rays

Lipostylin'

What, Me Sue?

Getting Out on the Job

The Bad Seed

The Sperm Cycle

Condom Wrap-up

Think Kink

Meet Our POZ Personals Catch of the Month

Ask The Sexpert-August 2005

Got Zen?

We're All Living With Nuts

Oh, Daddy!




The Real AIDS Vaccine

High Risk Offensive

Follow the Leader

Crime Blotter

Earthwatch

HIV 411: What's Hot and What's Not

Mentors-August 2005

My So-Called Afterlife

Doctor Feel Good




Editor's Letter - August 2005

Mailbox - August 2005



 
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV



email print

August 2005


Getting Out on the Job

by Lucile Scott

Employee of the month

Michael Gonzales
48
Long Beach, California
Communications Specialist
Diagnosed 1986

Deciding about disclosure is part of any HIVer’s job description. Michael Gonzales has programmed phones at a Long Beach, California, shipping company for 20 years. He started as a temp, but docked their permanently after his diagnosis because of its top-notch benefits and steady pay. Here’s what happened when he risked disclosure in the AIDS-rocked waves of the ’80s.

Describe the attitude toward HIV in 1986.
People were scared. They talked about getting HIV from toilets or pencils. I was worried they would fire me if I disclosed, but I trusted the company.

What did you do?  I kept calling in sick, so I decided to tell them why. I hoped they would work with me about sick leave—and they did. And I wanted to  help educate people.

How did they respond? They wanted to educate the entire company. I was amazed. I think they knew AIDS was not going away. We had  my physician talk to the employees, and I saw fears about working with a PWA dissipate.

What advice do you have for people thinking about disclosing at work?
It lets you work with the company about benefits. As for stigma, hold your head high, be proud of who you are and just go with it.                                  


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