HIV & Employment
Employment is an essential part of leading an independent, self-directed life for all people— including people living with HIV. Reflecting this, DOL is one of the agencies involved in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, released December 1, 2021 in honor of World AIDS Day. Development and implementation of the Strategy is coordinated by the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), which the Biden-Harris Administration reestablished in June 2021.
The Strategy sets forth bold targets for ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. by 2030. Moreover, given the demographics of the epidemic in the U.S., which disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx communities, the Strategy supports Biden’s Executive Order 13985: "Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government," signed January 20, 2021. This is reflected in the Strategy’s vision:
The United States will be a place where new HIV infections are prevented, every person knows their status, and every person with HIV has high-quality care and treatment, lives free from stigma and discrimination, and can achieve their full potential for health and well-being across the lifespan. This vision includes all people, regardless of age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, geographic location, or socioeconomic circumstance.
ODEP represents DOL on the Interagency Working Group convened by ONAP to develop the strategy and, in turn, achieve this vision—because key to supporting people with HIV to achieve their full potential for health and wellbeing is ensuring they can prepare for, obtain and succeed in employment.
ODEP offers a number of resources to assist both individuals living with HIV and employers. These include:
- A Resource Guide for Individuals Living with HIV/AIDS Seeking to Enter or Reenter the Workforce [PDF]
- The Business Case for Employing Qualified Individuals with HIV/AIDS [PDF]
In addition, the ODEP-funded Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides guidance on common workplace accommodations for people with HIV.
Getting to Work Training Curriculum
As part of its work to support employment for people living with HIV, ODEP collaborated with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop Getting to Work: An Online Training Curriculum for HIV/AIDS Service Providers and Housing Providers. This interactive multi-media curriculum assists HIV/AIDS service providers, including housing providers, to understand the value of employment for individuals with HIV and outlines strategies that service providers can implement to incorporate employment into their approach and create new opportunities for the populations they serve.
Improving HIV Health Outcomes through the Coordination of Supportive Employment and Housing Services
In recent years, ODEP also played a role in the Improving HIV Health Outcomes through the Coordination of Supportive Employment and Housing Services grant program (2017-2020), also known as the HIV, Housing & Employment Project. The goal of these grants was to decrease the negative impact of unmet social service needs, including employment and housing, on long-term health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities living with HIV. The program was administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and supported through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund (SMAIF) and the Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) program.
TargetHIV is the recently unveiled site that highlights innovative strategies utilized by the 12 demonstration sites, tips, lessons learned, and findings from the initiative. There are currently over 80 resources on the site, including implementation manuals, issue briefs, client story videos, and more.
- Working with HIV/AIDS — Information from HIV.gov about the importance of work for people living with HIV/AIDS.
- What You Should Know about HIV/AIDS & Employment Discrimination — Information about the rights of employees with HIV/AIDS under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).