Q and A

Question

Can an HIV positive person work as a flight attendant?

I am currently a long haul flight attendant and recently found out that I am HIV+. I am deciding if a career might help in the long term fight with the virus.

My flight times are no less then 12 hours and often find it difficult to have any sleep pattern when off work.

I’m also aware that the nature of being around so many people in a enclosed enviroment I have always been at higher risk of catching common diseases.

I have not yet had a second consultation with my doctor and am not on medication at the moment but am also concerned of side affects and my job once I am.

Will changing my job help a lot with my body dealing with HIV?

Answer

Update: This question was first posted in 2007. We have updated it in December 2020 because it might still be relevant for come people.

The biggest change is that HIV treatment (ART) is now taken routinely used by everyone who is HIV positive. This is because it has become so much better and easier to take.  In 2020 it would be very unusual for someone to think about changing this job just because they are HIV positive.

Having an undetectable viral load on ART also means that being HIV positive is also not a problem for most jobs, including working as crew or as a pilot (at least in the UK).

There is no reason why an HIV positive person should avoid a job as a flight attendant. In reality, there are many people who are in your position and everything is fine with them (working shifts, not getting enough sleep, etc).

Keeping fit, having a healthy lifestyle and getting enough rest is always better, but this is equally true for HIV negative and HIV positive people.

Whether you should change your job or not is a personal decision. But HIV will not progress quicker just because of your job.

In the past, some companies did not allow HIV positive people to work on some of their routes. This was because the regulations in the destination countries were unfair towards HIV positive people. This might still be the case in the few countries that ban HIV positive people. This is something that you’ll have to check with your employer.

This answer was updated in December 2020 from a question first posted in November 2007.

21 comments

  1. Mr Adventure

    Hey Guys

    I’m a long haul flight attendant in the UK & on effective treatment. I fly all over the world full time and have no problem. If anything I’m more healthy now as I look after my body better. My company are amazing and know about my condition. I say go for it if you want to fly it’s the best job in the world. The only thing holding you back is yourself. Long haul for 10 years plus .

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *