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Life Insurance with HIV/AIDS

Life Insurance with HIV/AIDS

Written By Doug Mitchell

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA.  Doug has spent close to 30 years in the insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health.  Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

Holly Mitchell  &

Holly Mitchell’s background in life insurance insurance goes back to 1985 when she worked for her father who was a New York Life agent. Holly has a marketing degree from Auburn University and has had a life insurance license since 2008. In addition to advising life insurance for customers all around the country, Holly is our website fact checker.

Rob Pinner   &

Rob Pinner is the founder and CEO of Pinner Financial Services servicing all 50 states. Rob started his insurance career in 2002.

Louis LaBash

Results-driven and innovative life insurance professional with 30 plus years of life insurance industry sales and marketing experience. Recognized as a pioneer in the field, leveraging phone and internet channels to exceed personal sales of over $100 million during the first decade of the 21st century. Creator of a highly effective intuitive IUL life insurance sales software that facilitated the sale of millions of dollars of indexed universal policies by numerous life insurance agents. Proven track record as a Managing General Agent (MGA), Life Agent, IUL Life Insurance Sales Software developer, and leading-edge creator of insurance marketing tools, educational content, and delivery systems.

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There was a time, not so many years ago, when getting life insurance with HIV/AIDS would’ve been impossible. I’m not going to lie – it still isn’t easy – but it’s not impossible either.

There have been many new breakthroughs on the HIV/AIDS front, and life expectancies are increasing significantly.

What’s more, new treatments and therapies are coming out all the time, creating brighter prospects.

Life insurance companies have been slow to respond to these changes, but they are gradually moving toward providing more coverage.

The “secrets” are to know how the industry views HIV/AIDS, how to apply for coverage, and where to find the life insurance companies that will be most receptive.

What is HIV/AIDS?

Life Insurance with HIV/AIDSHIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is the virus that causes acquired auto immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.

HIV is most commonly spread through unprotected sex or the sharing of hypodermic needles. It gradually weakens the victim’s ability to fight infection and is typically diagnosed by HIV testing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 1.1 million Americans have AIDS. But more significantly, the incidence of new AIDS cases has stabilized in recent years.

The CDC further reports that there were 15,807 deaths among people with diagnosed HIV in the United States in 2016, though it adds the caveat that “these deaths may be due to any cause.”

Symptoms of HIV can include headache, fever and swollen lymph nodes. However, medications are now available that can help suppress the virus.

They can also help prevent the spread of HIV and either delay or prevent AIDS. In fact, there are now more than 30 medications available for the treatment of HIV in the US.

There is no known cure for HIV, but regular testing, use of daily medication and other therapies, can control the virus, and slow its effects for many years.

The Type of HIV Affects Life Insurance Options

There are two types of HIV diagnoses which can have an impact upon your life insurance options.

  1. HIV Negative– HIV negative is the name given when you may have been exposed to HIV, but the virus has not yet shown up on an HIV test. This is because it can take several months – referred to as the window period – between contracting the virus and when a test can detect it. The window varies based on the test performed, but also from one person to another.
  2. HIV Positive– You are HIV positive when the existence of the virus is confirmed by a test. In most cases, follow-up testing will be performed. But with proper treatment, a person who is HIV-positive can live a normal, healthy life.

How Does HIV/AIDS Affect Life Insurance?

Your life insurance company will look at a number of risk factors as they work to assess your application and underwrite a life insurance policy for you.


Fortunately, HIV/AIDS has become much more treatable in recent decades, and the survival rates have expanded dramatically.

In fact, at least among young people, those who are HIV positive and receiving proper treatment have nearly the same life expectancy as someone who is HIV negative.

Unfortunately, life insurance companies have been slow to respond to the improvement in the prognosis of the disease. As a result, only a handful of companies provide coverage.

Like any health condition, HIV/AIDS is considered a pre-existing condition, which will have a material effect on your lifespan.


Age is another important factor. Some companies prefer younger applicants, such as those under 50. But there are others who prefer applicants over 50.

Generally, the younger you are, the more affordable and accessible life insurance will be, though.

Other Health Conditions

The existence of additional health issues is always a factor when you have a chronic medical condition.

Naturally, conditions such as hypertension or diabetes will increase your risk substantially.

But insurance companies will be looking most closely at a history of illness that could accelerate the HIV/AIDS process. These can include hepatitis B or C, or history of cancer.


Lifestyle will also be an important consideration. If you’re living a generally normal life, including working regularly and engaging in typical activities, it will work in your favor.

A normal life serves as confirmation that the disease is under control and being properly managed.

The Stage of the Disease

In underwriting a life insurance application with HIV/AIDS, an insurance company will consider the stage of the disease. The disease advances at a very slow rate, and in three distinct stages.

  1. The first stage produces flulike symptoms and is generally temporary.
  2. In the second stage, you can live many years with no symptoms whatsoever.
  3. In the third stage, the immune system is seriously compromised, creating a high vulnerability to other illnesses, like pneumonia.

The stage of the disease can determine what type of policy you may be eligible for. For example, you may be able to get traditional life insurance from certain companies if you are in the first or second stages and your condition is well-managed.

But if you’re in stage three, you may be limited to a final expense policy or guaranteed issue life insurance.

Each offers a low death benefit and is relatively expensive on a per thousand basis. But failing the availability of traditional life insurance, these are options that are definitely worth considering.

Can I Get Approved for Life Insurance with HIV/AIDS?

Properly managing your condition is the most important effort you can make. You should be working with a doctor who specializes in HIV/AIDS.

You should also be undergoing regular testing, and faithfully participating in any required treatment therapies.

Management of your overall health is also crucial to getting the best rates.

That means maintaining a proper weight-to-height ratio, avoiding smoking and excess alcohol consumption, treating any temporary or ongoing illnesses or conditions, eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding hazardous behaviors.

Remember, insurance companies don’t focus entirely on a specific health condition. They’ll look at your overall health, including activities and other conditions. It’s important to make sure all else is as well as possible, apart from HIV/AIDS.

Finally, never fail to disclose HIV/AIDS or any other health condition. All life insurance companies will perform a detailed investigation of your previous medical history and ultimately discover the condition.

It’s best to fully disclose your condition to lower the likelihood of your application being declined, as well as to find the best insurance carrier available.

Choosing the Right Life Insurance Company is  Critical

Apart from proactively managing your condition, along with your overall health and lifestyle, choosing the right life insurance company is the single most important step you can take to getting a policy when you have HIV/AIDS.

Having a policy through an employer is a major plus since your acceptance into the plan is automatic. And if you already have a private life insurance policy, you should do whatever’s necessary to keep it in force.

It’s much easier to keep an existing policy when you have HIV/AIDS, than it is to get a new one.

But under the assumption you don’t have an existing policy or an employer-sponsored plan, you’ll need to work with the relatively small number of companies that offer coverage for HIV/AIDS consumers.

When you have a serious health condition, like HIV/AIDS, you need to have an insurance expert in your corner. That’s what we are, here at BestLifeQuote. Although finding life insurance with HIV/AIDS might seem daunting, we can provide expert assistance to get you the affordable coverage you need.  Begin the process by using the quoter on this page.

Picture of Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA. Doug has spent close to 30 years in the life insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health. Some other notable items about Doug: Top of the Table Million Dollar Round Table member (MDRT). (MDRT is a global, independent association of the world’s leading life insurance advisors) | Premier Partner with Lincoln Financial and Cabinet Member | Served two years as President of the Auburn/Opelika Association of Financial Advisors | Life Millionaire status at Horace Mann Insurance Company and was awarded the Life Agent of the Year Award | New York Life, Executive Council Member | Currently serves as President of Ogletree Financial, a life insurance General Agency. | Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

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