A person who has an HIV infection has a responsibility not to infect others. In practice, this means always using a condom for sexual contact, and informing your regular or occasional sexual partner that you are HIV positive. Openness can be a challenge but it is easier to practice safer sex when both parties collaborate.
It can often be helpful to address issues about sexuality individually or in discussion groups with others in the same situation. You can also talk to the doctor who is handling your treatment.
Tracing contacts is a necessary step in the fight against the HIV epidemic. Contacts that may be infected should be contacted and offered a test. Either the infected person or health personnel can inform the contacts about the possible risk of being infected. Health personnel will inform the contacts without disclosing the name of the person with HIV infection. The contact will be offered advice, counselling and an HIV test.
How open the individual wants to be about their HIV status towards family, friends and acquaintances, is a personal choice. Consider who should be informed and why. Experience shows that most people who choose to tell their closest friends or family members that they have an HIV infection find this to be a good support.
Neither the employer nor colleagues have a right to know if an employee is infected with HIV. This also applies to schools and places of education. Some people choose to be open with colleagues and their employer. People with HIV can have a variety of professions. The exception is infected healthcare workers who perform procedures (operations, etc.) where the risk of needle-stick injury is particularly high. If an HIV positive person is unsure if their work involves a risk to themselves or others, they can discuss this with their doctor.
Your doctor and your dentist should be informed about your HIV status. If you are receiving any form of treatment at hospital it is also appropriate to inform them. Healthcare professionals need to be able to assess your health status and provide the best possible treatment. Health professionals have a duty of confidentiality.
Some vaccines may be dangerous for a person with HIV infection. If you need vaccines, e.g. when travelling, you should inform the person who is administering the vaccine about your HIV status.
Many of the medicines used to treat HIV can affect, or be affected by, medicines used to treat other diseases (allergy medicines, certain antibiotics and herbal medicines). There may be interactions between medicines that may have adverse or severe consequences for health. Never start to take other medicines without consulting the doctor who is handling your treatment.
Insurance policies / agreements entered into before receiving an HIV diagnosis will be valid and will continue. For new agreements for individual life and health insurance, information should be disclosed about health conditions. The insurance will be invalid if a person with HIV fails to do so.
It is possible to sign individual life insurance on specified terms after being tested as HIV positive. Each insurance company will decide if they choose to offer such a scheme. Ill-health or invalidity insurance is not offered.
As a member of a trade union and through the employer, it is still possible to be insured against disability/ death without disclosing health information.
People with HIV infection are considered unfit for compulsory national service. Employees in the Armed Forces who have been diagnosed with HIV infection are not considered fit for operational service or operations abroad.
They are considered fit for office service / staff service in Norway.