Since it became known to the world in the 1980s, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes acute immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has become one of the world’s greatest health concerns. Not only is the research for the treatment of the disease a continuous medical saga, but also the recurring social implications of having such a dreaded disease.
The stigma associated with having HIV or AIDS is still a lingering problem among individuals, groups, and communities. This is still happening in some aspects of people’s lives despite the knowledge of most people towards the disease.
The social stigma related to HIV or AIDS is usually done in a variety of ways for both persons perceived and infected of the disease. These include discrimination, rejection, and violence, as well as compulsory testing for HIV without consent or protection of confidentiality and quarantine.
The realm of employment is an area where discrimination and fear for people with HIV or AIDS are widespread. Over the recent years, the virus and the disease has since been an issue in the workplace. While workers aged 20 to 45 and with HIV/AIDS are able to work in small- and medium-scale businesses, many are quizzical about an employer’s ability to make reasonable accommodations to them.
Despite these concerns, many employers today are now able to establish certain company policies that address certain issues regarding HIV/AIDS in the workplace. Employers adhere to certain federal laws that protect employees with the virus or the disease. A known federal employment law that does so is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
The said Act prevents companies and business to discriminate against an individual believed to be infected with HIV or AIDS. In some state employment laws, HIV/AIDS testing as a condition for employment is likewise prohibited unless there is a legitimate reason for the employer to do so.
Employment discrimination on the basis of an employee’s medical condition is considered a social stigma, especially when talking about HIV or AIDS. A discriminated employee with such virus or disease may seek aid from established employment law attorneys who can help in filing a discrimination lawsuit against the erring employer.