Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, and his primary focus is helping travellers find the right cover for their medical conditions.

Originally posted: 18th Dec 2019

HIV travel insurance guide

If you’re worried that having HIV will mean you get charged substantially more for your travel insurance for having HIV, don’t be.

The panel of insurers that you’ll get your quote from using Medical Travel Compared do not view the condition as high risk, providing it’s well-managed.

Because of this, they will often include cover for people with HIV without loading the premium.

Should I buy travel insurance for HIV?

HIV is classed as a pre-existing medical condition by travel insurers.

This is because it’s a condition that requires ongoing prescribed medication with antiviral drugs and routine appointments to check viral load and CD4 count.

Therefore, it’s important to declare HIV so as not to invalidate your holiday insurance policy.

Apart from complying with insurers’ terms and conditions, having a travel insurance policy that includes cover for HIV ultimately means that you will be protected if you become unwell or face any HIV related complications before or during your trip. For example, having to cancel, receive unplanned treatment abroad or losing your medication.

Applying for HIV travel insurance

You will be required to complete a medical screening and answer some multiple-choice questions about HIV.

The process is very brief, and it helps insurers to assess your current health status and establish the level of cover you require.

Once you’ve declared HIV as a pre-existing medical condition, here are the questions you will be asked:

  1. In the last three months, have you started a new antiviral drug or is a new drug planned?
  2. What is your latest CD4 count?
  3. If you have been on antiviral treatment for more than three months, what is your latest viral load?
  4. Have you been advised to start antiviral treatment but chosen not to?

Once you have answered these questions, you can either choose to add further pre-existing medical conditions or move on to compare travel insurance quotes for HIV.

Is HIV classed as a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes. When applying for travel insurance, if you have been diagnosed with HIV then you will need to declare it as a pre-existing medical condition.

If you don’t, you could risk voiding your entire travel insurance policy as well as running the risk of not being covered for the treatment you might need while you’re away. 

Can I get travel insurance if I’ve been recently diagnosed with HIV?

If you’ve only just been diagnosed, then you may not have started antiviral treatment.

But that’s OK – when you apply through our comparison engine, you will be given the opportunity to say whether you’ve been prescribed medication, currently undergoing treatment, received medical attention or you’re currently on a waiting list for treatment or investigation.

As part of the online medical screening process, we will ask you what your latest CD4 is count is.

If you don’t know, or haven’t had a test, you will need to visit your doctor and get this confirmed prior to completing your application for HIV travel insurance. 

Can HIV affect my insurance premium?

Having a high viral load or low CD4 count can increase the premium.

You may also find that travel insurance for HIV is more expensive if you’ve recently been diagnosed.

Generally, once you’ve been taking medication for more than three months, and the condition is stable, travel insurance premiums are lower. However, if you have been advised to start antiviral treatment but have chosen not to, insurers will decline cover.

You can compare quotes for single and annual HIV travel insurance right here online or if you would like to speak to a trained operator, please give us a call! 

For advice and information about travelling with HIV you can visit the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Travelling with HIV medication

When travelling with HIV medication, it is recommended to carry medication in your hand luggage and to bring a letter with details of your prescription with you.

Just like with any pre-existing medical condition, a clearly written letter from a doctor that states why you are carrying the medicines, that they are for personal use and that the person is fit to travel can help to speed up any questions you might get asked at border control.

If you are travelling across different time zones, you may need to adjust the timing of doses. Be sure to discuss this in advance with your doctor before you travel so you know when you’ll be taking each dose.

HIV positive travel restrictions

If you are HIV positive and planning a trip overseas, you may already be aware that some countries have restrictions for people with HIV.

You can find full details of which countries have restrictions for people with HIV on The Global Database on HIV-Specific Travel & Residence Restrictions.Simply click on the country or countries that you are interested in travelling to in order to find out if restrictions are in place.

It’s a good idea to do this before you book your trip and certainly before you travel, as unfortunately certain countries will deport anyone found with HIV medication.

Frequently Asked Questions

It's really simple and quick to do! After you've told us about your trip details and answered some medical history questions you can add your pre-existing conditions, one by one, for each traveller. You'll only need to enter your details once, it's all online and there's no need to call, or provide details of your conditions in writing.
Once you've declared all of your relevant pre-existing medical conditions we'll only show you quotes based on the conditions you have told us about.
No, we are unable to provide cover with any of your pre-existing medical conditions excluded.
If you don't travel much then a single trip cover is perfect as you can cover specific dates suited to your trip. If you have cancellation cover, you'll also benefit from this as soon as you buy your policy. If you travel 2 or more times a year, it may be cheaper for you to go for an annual trip cover. It's best to start your annual trip cover as soon as possible, as if you have cancellation cover, you'll only benefit from this from your policy start date.
You will need to add each country that you are visiting. If you are on a flight stopover this will include any countries where you leave the airport. If you are on a cruise it includes any countries where your ship will be docking at.

* Price is based on 1 traveller aged 61, who has declared HIV and is travelling to Spain for 7 nights. Price is correct as of December 2019. Prices may vary according to your individual requirements.

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