"My problems arose when I had to disclose to employers."

I have been HIV positive for five years and have been on treatment for four of those years. There have been only minor side effects, and from a medical point of view I have been very satisfied with my situation. My problems have arisen when I've had to disclose to employers (when applying for new jobs).

Initially some employers tried to discriminate but soon changed their approach when they were threatened with the Disability Discrimination Act. In two jobs I have held since being diagnosed, there has been a systematic attempt to get me to leave the job, either by trying to make me appear to be incompetent or through false accusations which have made my position very uncomfortable and stressful. A possible source of the problem appears to be the unions and their view that HIV people can be a Health and Safety risk—their line of reasoning being that if I have an accident, am bleeding and get knocked out, anyone assisting me may not be aware of my HIV status and so could become infected.

The problems that the 'rest of the population' creates for me makes living with HIV difficult to the point where taking my medication, remaining unemployed and choosing friends carefully appears to be the only comfortable option.