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AIDS Care. 1997 Oct;9(5):589-99.

Disclosing HIV status and sexual orientation to employers.

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  • 1Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology/Yeshiva University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461-1602, USA.


Seropositive gay and bisexual men who reveal their sexual orientation or HIV/AIDS status to their employer risk discriminatory reprisals. However, non-disclosure may limit potential social, emotional, and tangible support. Among our sample of 389 seropositive gay and bisexual men employed in the US, 52% were 'out' to their employer and 35% had disclosed their serostatus to him or her. Among gay men, employer awareness of their sexual orientation was related to their being European American (vs Latino or African American), being HIV-seropositive for more than 4 years, and having a gay or bisexual employer. Disclosure of HIV infection in the total sample was related to being European American, HIV-seropositive for more than 4 years, symptomatic (vs asymptomatic), 'out' at work, and having a gay or bisexual employer. Men who had informed their employers of their HIV status reported consequences that were substantially more positive than those anticipated by men who had not disclosed. Policy and research implications for improving the work environment for gay and bisexual men living with HIV are considered.

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