Belgian law forbids any discrimination based on health status. This means a person with HIV has to be treated like any other person.
It is always the HIV-positive person who decides if he/she tells other people about it or not.
You cannot get HIV through casual contact, for example: by sharing a glass or plate with someone who has HIV or by touching or kissing each other.
HIV and work
An HIV-positive person does not have to mention this during a job interview. The employer does not have the right to ask questions about his/her health. If questions are asked, you can say that this is confidential information and that you are willing to talk to the company doctor. The company doctor can only ask you questions related to your physical ability to do the job. He/she also has to respect your privacy.
It is forbidden to lie about your HIV status during a job interview. The employer can use this as a reason to dismiss you if he/she discovers this later.
An employer can only ask you to get an HIV test if you agree.
If there is an accident involving a person who is HIV-positive, the general first-aid procedures are sufficient to prevent someone else becoming infected by the HIV virus. An employer cannot, therefore, fire or refuse someone with HIV a job by saying it could cause a health risk for colleagues or clients.
An HIV-positive person does not have to inform his/her colleagues or boss about it. If you tell your boss, it can be easier for you to take medicines during working hours or to go to the doctor.
If you have any questions about this or want to report discrimination, contact a specialised organisation.
HIV and travelling
For visits of less than 3 months, there are only a few countries in the world that ask for an HIV test or deny entry to HIV-positive people. More countries are restrictive for longer stays. In the European Union, there are currently no travel restrictions for HIV-positive people. You can find more information on www.hivtravel.org.
You can keep a copy of the prescription for your medicines with you in case questions are asked at the border concerning the medicines in your luggage.
Access to health care
Belgians or persons with legal residence status can get medical expenses reimbursed through the public health insurance system.