I was first diagnosed with HIV when I was 22. I had successfully completed an apprenticeship at a private company in Mexico and was about to be hired when I was told that I was not “medically suitable” for the job.
I remember asking myself: “Does this mean that I cannot be efficient at what I am doing because I am living with HIV?” According to the ILO, young people are almost three times more likely than adults to be unemployed. I was young and living with HIV and felt like I’d never find a job.
I am now 29 and work for Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health and in HIV and AIDS related civil society organizations. Over the years, I’ve met scores of young people living with HIV. Many have lost their jobs or been denied job opportunities simply because they are living with HIV. Some have no access to social security because of lack of any formal employment.
*** By (Yahir Zavaleta Rocha, HIV Programme Director for Espolea)***