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.

4 min read

The Terrence Higgins Trust ‘National HIV Testing Week’ runs this week. It hopes to encourage people across the country to ‘give HIV the finger’ by taking a simple finger-prick test for the virus and encourage others to do the same. To mark this, we’ve put together a useful guide for travelling safely when you or someone in your group is HIV positive.

What is HIV?

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV attacks the immune system and gradually causes damage. This can mean that without treatment and care, a person with HIV is at risk of developing serious infections and cancers that a healthy immune system would fight off. HIV has been passed on between humans for many decades but was only identified in the early 80s. 

Tips for travelling with HIV

If you are HIV positive and planning a trip overseas, you may already be aware that some countries have certain restrictions in place for people with this condition, so make sure you do your research before you choose a destination. If you are not sure if the country you plan to travel has any restrictions, you can see a full list of these countries on The Global Database.

When travelling with HIV medication, it’s important to bring a letter with details of your prescription with you (especially if you are travelling with it in your hand luggage). And if you’re travelling across different time zones, you may need to adjust the timing of doses – do make sure you discuss this in advance with your doctor.

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Can I get travel insurance for travelling with HIV?

Many people might assume that having a HIV diagnosis makes it impossible to get travel insurance, but this is not the case – Medical Travel Compared can help you. With us, you can compare specialist cover from lots of providers that have tailored policies for those living with HIV. Standard travel insurance policies will usually include medical coverage, but this is unlikely to provide cover for any pre-existing health conditions, such as HIV - so it’s important to find a policy that will. 

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How to get travel insurance for travelling with HIV

Because everyone’s condition is different, you will be asked a few questions about your HIV so that we can get a good picture of your overall health and can offer you personalised cover.

These questions will likely include some of the following:

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

By making sure HIV is included on your policy, you can rest assured that your policy will take into account your condition, and any impact it has on your trip. For example, if your condition flares up before your holiday and you are too unwell to travel, or if you need medical attention whilst you are away.

You can use our straightforward quote tool to compare quotes for HIV travel insurance in minutes.

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