Unlike in the past, people who are HIV positive can get life insurance for HIV. In the days before antiretroviral medication, no insurance company would give a person living with HIV a life insurance policy.

In South Africa, the scourge of HIV/AIDS affects millions of citizens. In recent years, efforts have been made to thoroughly educate individuals about the pandemic. Legislation has been altered in some instances to incorporate the needs of people living with HIV, as opposed to previous regulations which may have been discriminatory in nature. The insurance industry in the country is making changes slowly but surely.

In 2013, a study was released by researchers at the University of Cape Town, which stated that HIV patients who had started treatment before they became sick could expect to live about 80% as long as their contemporaries who were HIV negative.

When it comes to your rights, it’s important to keep in mind that the only reason to disclose your health status to an insurance company is if you are asked to release that information for coverage.

If they do not ask you about HIV or health-related issues, you are not required to share that information. If you do get life insurance for HIV, you may need to adopt a health regimen proposed by the insurance company.

In South Africa, companies offering life insurance for HIV include:

  • Liberty
  • Sanlam
  • Old Mutual
  • Metropolitan
  • Altrisk
  • All Life

The reality is that this type of cover tends to be more expensive. As this particular market has become more competitive, prices are expected to drop. People living with HIV are usually charged much higher life insurance premiums than other individuals. At times the cover is 50% more expensive.

As medical technology progresses and life expectancy increases for those who are HIV positive, more insurance companies are expected to offer life insurance in the near future.