Communicable? Not Anymore … And Never Really Was

Here’s a call we get with some regularity.  Someone gets a new job, and the employer presents a form that has to be filled out.  The form asks if the employee has any “communicable diseases.”  Oy gevult.

Now, if you’ve got, say, bubonic plague, your employer would need to know.  But HIV?  Unless you’re a porn star or a prostitute (hey, we don’t judge), you’re not going to put anyone at risk for HIV through your routine job functions.  So do you have to disclose your HIV status if your employer gives you the dreaded communicable disease questionnaire?

Well, if you live in Illinois, the answer is a clear-cut “no.”  Why?  Because the Illinois Department of Public Health does not include HIV and AIDS on its list of icky conditions that are “communicable, infectious or contagious.”  Instead HIV and AIDS are properly deemed to be sexually transmitted diseases.

If, on the other hand, you’ve got anthrax, botulism, Q-fever, smallpox, or tularemia (which isn’t a bad name for a drag queen), then you better answer “yes.”

Illinois’s official list of communicable disease is here.

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