Family wants to test me for HIV before they offer me a job??? WHAT?

Hey Friends,

So I have been talking back and forth with a family. They seem(ed) pretty cool and flexible. I have been a full-time nanny for a couple years but I am going to be transitioning into another career (being a full-time Ph.D. Student). So my time in the nanny industry is ending soon. :(

So bit of background.... I am finishing my BA in Psych next Spring then leaving next Fall for Grad School. SO the family knows this but they like me so much they don't mind me working for them for about 8 months & I need a job until my Ph.D. program starts, so I guess it all works out....

They have a newborn but by the time I start working for them, their baby boy will be four weeks old. They called me today asking if I would be comfortable giving a blood test to check if I have HIV?!!
I have NEVER EVER had a family ask for a blood test- not even a urine test for drugs etc... Now I do not have HIV or AIDS so I am not worried about the results but this question has thrown me by such surprise I did not even ask why they wanted it... Any thoughts?

If I do work for them it will only be for 8 months or so but I just feel like it's such a strange request it has given me red flags about them...

Any thoughts?


Well that's...uncomfortable. The only way you can transfer HIV/aids is through sexual contact or certain bodily fluids such as blood. Are they afraid you are going to cut yourself and bleed all over the baby? Very very unlikely. Plus it's still rare for someone who gets in contact with infected blood will contract the virus because there needs to be broken skin, a cut, etc for the virus to enter into the body. I also believe that federal law prohibits employers from testing their employees for HIV/aids. It's technically discrimination. That does seem like a red flag in my opinion. Much too overprotective.

I see my opinion may not be the norm here, but the thing about HIV is so many people don't even realize they have it. My own doctor has started basically strongly suggesting (can't force) all adults get tested once they begin care with him, knowledge is power.

So in that line of thinking- I'm guessing they are just concerned at the off chance you're unaware of your status. Have you been tested before? It may be a good idea for your own medical records and knowledge, BUT I do not believe it's legal for them to ask that, and that's what I'd use to tell them. Look it up for your state and have evidence, they'll probably still hire you if you explain the legality of such a thing. HIV is very difficult to spread, as in the stigma against HIV+ people is totally unfair in everyday contact.

So my summary is, you should certainly be aware if your status. All sexually active adults should know. I didn't know it wasnt a routine STD checked for by my previous doctors so I'm glad I know my status but as employers they cannot ask you to be tested, or for that matter ask you your status. You'd be legally protected from disclosing the results of any test should you chose to take it.

You can get HIV from lots of contacts, not just sexual. But no of course they don't need to know any of it! Not even the status. You should know for yourself and end of list!

I think they took it to far with that one, like one of the other users said it's highly unlikely that you'll cut yourself and bleed all over the baby..
I would straight up tell them that you're not comfortable with it and that it's an invasion of privacy..

HUGE red flag. I have never heard of anything like this and I have been nannying for almost 7 years. They may seem cool but this is a blessing if anything, only completely overbearing CRAZY people would ask you for this (and do you really want to nanny for people like that?) at least you know now instead of 6 months down the road. Onto the next!

I have Never heard of this before, ever. I have been caring for infants full-time since 1999 and have Never been asked that. Prior to being a nanny, I worked in a daycare nursery caring for babies daily (8) and was not even drug tested by this large company that I worked for. I did have a Nurse mother request that I be immunized with a Tdap shot; (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis immunization). My doctor thought it was so odd, but I did it anyway, and I Paid for it. The nurse mother of the infant who hired me was paranoid anyway but I did get it because it had been several years since I had a tetanus shot, so I did get it.. Asking me to get an AIDS HIV test is way too much of an employer to ask. I am surprised she didn't ask you to get a drug test. By the way, HIV TESTs or any other test results are Totally Confidential and Will not be Disclosed to anyone other than the patient and her health insurance company. Drug testing by a urine sample is common for employment agencies and hospitals hiring new recruits, but not HIV. This family is just Stupid. I would answer them with what you told us and leave it at that. With your education, I would really be insulted and mortified. I would Refuse this job NOW. miss pat

that's not even legal!! Totally not okay. Of course it's up to you if you want to comply. It sounds like they're first time parents so they're probably freaking out about having someone watch there new baby. Odd that they're asking for hiv but not a drug test. Maybe they plan to add a drug test by blood as well... seems odd Ultimately it's your decision. otherwise is the job/pay seems like a good fit? Think it through!

Hey everyone!

thanks for your input because I was in total shock. After I posted the question, I called them to decline the test & job and before I even got to the point they started going over how the test would be done...

GET THIS... they were planning to test me in their own living room & the mom was going to do it. :o
SO I told them absolutely no.

WOW! That is seriously insane! They shouldn't have asked to begin with and then do it in their living room?? Would they allow strangers to perform a medical test on their baby in a living room?? I think not! You deserve the same respect. Glad you declined! :)

Here's just a thought to consider. If you really like the family and the potential job. I think I'd ask them if there is a particular reason for this request, because it is not a standard request and might possibly be considered an invasion of privacy. I would volunteer to give them a verbal answer about your status, but that anything further you don't feel comfortable with. It may be that this family has a very letigtimate reason for asking, or as new parents they just have no idea what they should be asking a potential nanny. But I would be open, frank and give them the benefit of the doubt.

When discussing that I am not taking the job & will not consent to a blood test, they mentioned that they were concerned that I would bleed on the baby and if I had HIV ultimately their baby would get it. Also, they started to talk about more tests they would like to have done and yearly health screenings and etc to make sure I am the perfect fit for watching their baby.

Basically, they're new parents but to the extreme. Personally, I am not open to constantly having health screenings or blood tests. I am sure they'll find a nanny who is more open to that idea! But for me no thanks!