A poll of managers and workers has found that many people believe those who have HIV should not be allowed to work as waiters, chefs or nurses.
The survey by Positive Futures Partnership found that more than 85% of managers felt people living with HIV still faced discrimination in the workplace. Forty per cent thought HIV sufferers should not be allowed to work as chefs, while 24% believed they should not work as waiters.
Most thought it would be acceptable for people living with HIV to work as a cleaner, but only 38% thought someone living with HIV could undertake a nursing role.
The finding comes as latest figures from the Health Protection Agency showed new diagnoses of HIV remained at a high level during 2004.
Reports showed there were 5,016 new diagnoses reported for 2004, compared with 5,047 at the same time in 2003. But the 2004 figures are expected to rise further as late reports are received.
Stephen Bitti, chief executive of the UKC (UK Coalition of People Living with HIV and AIDS), a member of the partnership, said: “With advances in medicine, the biggest barrier in employment for people living with HIV is not health, but stigma and discrimination in the workplace.”
Go to www.ukcoalition.org