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Challenge Match: whatukno vs SemperParatusRJCC: "HIV Is My Business, Not My Bosses"

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posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 12:45 PM
The topic for this debate is “Should HIV positive workers have to tell their employers of their status? "

whatukno will be arguing the "Pro" position and will open the debate.
SemperParatusRJCC will argue the "Con" position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

There is a 10,000 character limit per post.

Any character count in excess of 10,000 will be deleted prior to the judging process.

Editing is strictly forbidden. For reasons of time, mod edits should not be expected except in critical situations.

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The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.

When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.

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Each debate must post within 24 hours of the timestamp on the last post. If your opponent is late, you may post immediately without waiting for an announcement of turn forfeiture. If you are late, you may post late, unless your opponent has already posted.

Each debater is entitled to one extension of 24 hours. The request should be posted in this thread and is automatically granted- the 24 hour extension begins at the expiration of the previous deadline, not at the time of the extension request.

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posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 02:28 PM
Thank you Semperfortis for setting up this debate, and thank you SemperParatusRJCC for agreeing to this topic.

Opening Statement…

“Should HIV positive workers have to tell their employers of their status?”

It’s a question of safety

It’s an interesting question isn’t it? At first glance one might be inclined to think that it would be a question of doctor patient confidentiality. But doesn’t an employer have the right to know about a potential hazard at the workplace? Doesn’t an employer have the obligation to help prevent loss of time and the health of their employees?
With proper treatment HIV is no longer a death sentence. It is treatable even if there is no cure at this time. This means that a person with HIV should expect to live a longer more productive life. They should also expect that with this knowledge and knowledge of how to prevent the spread of this disease they can make others safer including those in the workforce.

This is why the employer should know about the person’s HIV status.

I believe that HIV positive employees should be required to inform their employer of their status. I also believe that the employee should be protected under the law from discrimination due to their HIV status.

It boils down to safety in my opinion. Safety in the workplace is of the utmost importance. An employee that is HIV positive, if injured may pose serious health risks to others who may attempt to help the employee in the event of an injury. Precautions need to be taken and prevention techniques need to be established as to minimize risk to other employees in the event of an accident.

It’s a question of transparency

The employer should have no requirement to tell other employees of the HIV positive status of the individual. However it is in the company’s best interest to be informed as to ensure that employees are protected from the risk of infection. Typically in most working environments the chance of infection from an HIV positive employee is low. However if an injury occurs it is important that people are aware of the hazard in order to avoid potential infection.

It’s a question of health care cost

In this debate I will show how informing the employer of HIV positive status is a benefit to the safety of all concerned. Minimizing potential risk is key to a positive and safe working environment. I will show that despite the risk, knowledge is key in order to maximize the potential work production and decrease health care costs to both the employer and employees.

I will also show that with the proper additional anti discrimination laws in place a HIV positive employee can be a productive and positive member of a workforce. This will show that individuals affected with the virus can be beneficial to a company workforce and not a hindrance. But the lack of knowledge to the employer is a detriment.

This is why a HIV positive employee should be required to inform their boss of their positive status. It's not only a question of morality. It is a question of safety for everyone involved.

posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 12:54 PM
You shouldnt tell your employers if you have HIV. Its the only way for you to get a job.

Its a Question of getting a job

If you walk into a job interview, you need to hide the fact that you have HIV, because that is a huge check against you. If they know that you have HIV you are less likely to get the job, due to the health risks that you pose. If you get cut while you are cooking in a restaurant, it would be a danger zone. Then your employer would have to call the CDC to find out how to clean it up properly. Where as if you dont tell them, You can get cut, clean everything up in a hurry, throw it away, and clean yourself up, there would be no problems from the management.

In my opinion, if I was an employer, I would have ignored the comment of them having HIV, and then after the interview, I would have said no. It would have been my duty to protect my crew from any form of viral infections.

It's a question of advancement.

They would think of you as a liability, therefore hindering any chances of advancement. Because they would try and keep you as far away from themselves as possible. they wouldn't try to take the chance of them themselves getting infected. Your position would probably be in the back cleaning the dishes, but even then, If you wash the dishes and you just so happen to cut yourself under the water. All those things are contaminated.

If you let them know. There will be a very slim chance that you would get hired, and if you did you would always be on the chopping block. They wouldn't want you there unless they were sure that nothing would happen as to compromise the safety of the rest of the crew.


It is a question of situation.

If you are jobless with HIV, you walk into an interview knowing that the employer may or may not ask you about your HIV, take a look at your personal life. Do you live in a shack on the outside of town. With no one to help you, if so then you shouldn't let them know. It may be your last shot to get what you need, to actually start having the comforts of your won home. To actually have food. Just stay careful, don't get hurt and everything would be fine.


The question asked is "should you tell your employer if you are HIV positive????" I believe you shouldn't because in a day and age like this. You are competing with people who have nothing physically wrong with them. Chances are that the healthy hopefuls will get the job before you. Keep your disease quiet then everything should go smoothly.

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 10:11 AM
I request my 24 hour extension at this time...

posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 09:00 AM
Can you, with or without reasonable accommodation, perform this essential function of this job?

My opponent brings up a valid point, the obvious discrimination that might come with telling potential employers a person’s HIV status. I contend that some employers already do this. They do this right on the application form.

As an example read through this application form for taco bell;

The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services has determined that certain diseases, including hepatitis A, salmonella, shigella, staphylococcus, streptococcus, giardia, and compylobacter, may prevent you from serving food or handling food equipment in a sanitary or healthy fashion. An essential function of this job involves serving food or handling food equipment in a sanitary and healthy fashion. Can you, with or without reasonable accommodation, perform this essential function of this job?

As we can see, the above stresses the need for disclosure in order to prevent the possible contamination of others through safety measures. The same question should be asked of people with HIV. It’s for the safety of other employees as well as for the safety of customers.

People also must realize that this disease is no longer necessarily a death sentence; they should realize that people infected with HIV aren’t going to infect them through normal everyday contact. What will infect people is if for some reason infected blood comes in contact with their own blood. In a situation such as an office setting the risk of infection is near zero, in a hospital however that risk does go up a bit. The same can be said of a restaurant. Anywhere where a person is in danger of injuring themselves and exposing their blood to potentially mix with blood of another there is a possibility of infection. This is where honesty and policy have to meet in order to help prevent the transmission of this disease.

Now imagine this for an example, a person takes a job with the full knowledge of their HIV positive status. They get injured, and through that injury; another person gets infected with HIV? Is that better than to disclose to their employer of their HIV status to begin with?

Some could argue that is tantamount to attempted murder.
If you do not know that you have contracted HIV, you may never get tested; you may also spread HIV to others through unprotected sex. If you do not know that you have been infected you also run the risk of your HIV turning into full blown AIDS.

Johnson Aziga, of Hamilton was aware of his HIV status, yet he had unprotected sex with women he had met and had sex with, some of whom were co-workers.

My opponent has made valid point in his opening statement. The point of discrimination in the workplace and being turned away from jobs because of socioeconomic factors, this is wrong. It should not be tolerated. But it happens. Laws need to be in place in order to help quell this discrimination. Especially in jobs where the risk of transmission is negligible such as an office setting. Employers should be able to know of the HIV positive status of their employee but should not be able to discriminate because of that determination.

Is the risk negligible? This is the question. In a restaurant job for instance, that risk is much greater than say an office worker. In a hospital environment the risk is even greater. In a construction job the risk is lower. But the risk is there. People who know they are infected with HIV should tell their employers of their status because it’s not only the right thing to do but it can save lives.

posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 02:30 PM
I humbly request my 24 hour extension. One cannot argue without first doing tons of research. I shall have my retort within the extension.

posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 08:11 AM

You do not have to tell your employer that you are HIV+. If you do tell, remember that, as long as you are performing your job, your employer cannot legally discriminate against you. People with disabilities, including HIV, are protected from job discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This in itself should be proof that you dont have to tell them that you are HIV+. If you go into the office and you maight want to lay with someone there then yeah you might want to bring it up if they share your sentiments. Though you dont have to. Now if there is a copier incident to where your hand gets caught in there then you might want to tell someone. They cannot discriminate against you if you finally decide to let them all know.

Where as I doubt that you would ever need to tell anyone if you decide to go into the administration field. There is no forseable way for you to get hurt.

Taylor, Abbott, and Williams Three people who went through soo much because they revealed that they were HIV+. They caught soo much drama and bigotry because HIV is still seen as the "Death Sentance". Keep the information to yourself and you would avoid all of this.

And you made a valid and a very good point. You had said and I quote.

As we can see, the above stresses the need for disclosure in order to prevent the possible contamination of others through safety measures.
Though that would mean that in office work you have no need except for the Copier incident, or the occasional papercut. Am I right to assume this????

posted on Apr, 15 2009 @ 08:02 AM
Disclosure to ones employer is a safety concern not only because of the risk of infection, but because of the side effects of the cocktail of drugs one has to take in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. These side effects include but are not limited to; Hepatotoxicity, Hyperglycemia, Hyperlipidemia, Lactic Acidosis, Lipodystrophy, Osteonecrosis, Osteopenia, Osteoporosis, & Skin Rash (1). Operating heavy machinery may be a concern, and even common office tasks may become a problem if symptoms increase.

Copier incidents and paper cuts aren’t the only reasons that a HIV positive person would need to inform their employer. The other reasons would include insurance documentation. Business insurance may not cover an HIV positive person because it would be considered a pre existing condition.

It is important to maintain confidentiality but also disclose to the employer what medications a HIV + person is taking in order to minimize safety risks on the job.

Again it is important to note that HIV is not a death sentence anymore, a reasonable employer will realize this and have the confedence to keep employment for the HIV+ person without discrimination. Safety therefore will be increased and productivity will also be increased.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 07:23 AM
Wow i cant find anything else to defend the con side. I respectfully bow out of the debate. It was a good debate. I hope we can have another very soon perhaps with a topic I know a lot better.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 10:53 AM
HIV is a blood borne pathogen. Which means that your blood must come into contact with cells infected with the virus in order to become infected. Normal every day work even in close proximity to an HIV+ person, the risk of infection is infinitesimal. Intimate contact, such as hugging and or kissing won’t increase that risk any. We all know what really causes HIV to be passed on, which is unprotected sex (non monogamous), sharing of needles, and blood-to-blood contact. If you can avoid these three instances in the workplace, your chances of getting HIV from a co-worker is less than the chances you have winning the lottery.

Knowledge is power and if your employer completely understands the above paragraph there is no need to hide the fact that one is HIV+ in any work environment. The risk of infection in normal every day circumstances are next to nothing.

But there is a need to know, safety in the workplace is paramount. And this leads to my first Socratic question of this debate, it’s one that everyone should think about. The answer is very important.

How often do you get tested for HIV?

To be frank and personal? I’ve been tested once, by proxy, when my ex wife and I learned that we became pregnant with my son, a standard battery of STDs was preformed. The result was negative. Of the above list of criteria my chances for contracting HIV are low. But shame on me, I haven’t had one after my marriage ended.

Even by accident, you infect someone, if you knowingly conceal the fact that you are HIV+ Isn’t that attempted manslaughter at least? If you share needles or engage in unprotected sex doesn’t that count as willing attempted murder?

Employers need to know. It is in the best interest of everyone involved. It reduces liability on the part of employer and the employee.

Given the side effects from HIV+ Medication and the risk of infection there may be some tasks an employer might not let you do for safety reasons.

I am quite certain that any employer can find safe work for a HIV+ employee to do especially in certain industries. In my line of work, I rarely even touch anyone. My risk of infection is very low. If even existent.

Yes HIV will limit a person from many, many jobs. However one can adapt. One can find work out there that their status is a non-issue.

A hypothetical situation:

You are an HIV+ person working aboard let’s say a cargo vessel. An occupational hazard knocks you unconscious and bleeding. Your employer knows that you are HIV+ and can thus use the proper safety measures in order to get you the help you need without exposing the risks to other workers.

Socratic Question # 2 is this not a better scenario than if your employer and you co-workers weren’t informed?

Socratic Question #3 How would you feel if you potentially contaminated an innocent person? A friend? Your lover?

The stigma of HIV needs to go away, instead what needs to be done is put the information out there. Get tested, know. Be safe in what you do & with whom you do it with.

HIV doesn’t make a person less qualified for most positions.

HIV qualifies as a pandemic. Left untreated the effects on a population can be devastating. Today the lack if media attention to this issue is once again leading to an increase in reported cases of new infections. In some parts of DC the new cases of HIV diagnosis is more than it is for Africa.

The cure for HIV is information, testing and treatment.

HIV can be extinguished in a few generations. With testing, information and treatment HIV can be obliterated from the globe in three or four generations. That’s as simple as it can get. Testing is key to the obliteration of this disease, as well as information.

Imagine this day, The day that everyone can have a little meter strip detector that can sample blood to the point of knowing in an instant of any virus, pathogen and disease just by submitting a drop sample? Would you carry one? How much do you trust that person? Would it be worth it to ask for a blood sample? Would you give one?

With knowledge all things are possible. I say in three generations with knowledge alone, HIV can be eradicated.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 11:46 PM
whatukno wins by default


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