Rights of People Living with HIV
Every human being has the right to live without discrimination or fear of discrimination. All actions that treat a person worse because of a personal characteristic are considered discrimination.
According to the Non-Discrimination Act, a person should not be discriminated against for any reason, including the following:
• ethnic or national origin
• sexual orientation or gender identity
• state of health, including HIV
For example, living with HIV should not affect your ability to get a job or studying. Health information is confidential equally for people living with HIV as for all other health related information.
What can I do if I have been discriminated against?
If you have experienced discrimination or inappropriate treatment you can get support in dealing with the situation from Hivpoint. You can also contact Hivpoint’s patient ombudsman Anni Susineva directly at 040 551 7511 or anni.susineva(at)hivpoint.fi.
Depending on the situation, the discrimination on inappropriate treatment can be reported to different authorities. For example if you have experienced discrimination in health services, you can report the situation to the patient ombudsman, nondiscrimination ombudsman or the Regional State Administrative Agency.
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to tell my employer about my HIV infection?
A person living with HIV does not have to report their HIV status to their employer. HIV does not stop you from getting a job or working. A person living with HIV can have many types of jobs, including within health and welfare.
In some professions there are very strict regulations concerning medication or state of health. For example, a person living with HIV cannot work as a peacekeeper.
You can decide whether you want to tell your employment health services your HIV status. When you see the doctor it is best to disclose any chronic illnesses and medication, in order to get the best possible treatment. Employment health services, as well as all other health services are bound by confidentiality. This means that you employer cannot hear about your HIV status from the employment health services. An employer cannot ask you to take an HIV test.
The law prevents discrimination in working life based on health status.
Do I have to tell my sexual partner about my HIV infection?
The law dictates that a person has to tell sexual partners about their HIV infection, even if there is no risk of transmission.
There is no risk of HIV transmission when using a condom correctly and / or if the person living with HIV is using medication correctly and the viral load is undetectable.
The Hivpoint position is that prevention of sexually transmitted infections is everyone’s responsibility when the sexual activity is entered into on an equal footing and is consensual. Although there would not be a risk for HIV transmission, unprotected sex comes with the risk of other STIs. Our position is that a person living with HIV should not face legal consequences if they do not inform about the HIV infection, when there is no risk for transmission. Read more about Hivpoint’s position here (in Finnish).