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Ask an Underwriter: Can my client with HIV get life insurance?


The short answer? Yes, it’s possible. It helps to understand the disease before making an assessment. 


HIV, or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, affects the immune system by destroying important cells that help fight disease and infection. The virus can only be transmitted through specific activities and through direct contact bodily fluids – the highest risks of contracting the virus are through unprotected sexual intercourse or direct exposure blood, such as sharing needles or syringes. You cannot contract HIV simply through human contact such as shaking hands, hugging, coughing, sneezing, sweating or crying.1


Know the Facts

Currently, more than 1 million people in the United States are living with HIV. They are living longer and have a better quality of life thanks to extensive scientific research and more advanced treatments, such as Antiretrovival Therapy or ART. ART slows the progression of HIV and helps protect the patient’s immune system. If taken properly, the medicine can keep them healthy for many years and greatly reduces their chance of transmitting HIV to sexual partners.2


Two important elements to keep in mind with HIV are viral loads and CD4 levels. The viral load is the amount of HIV in the blood. The more HIV there is in the blood (and therefore the higher the viral load), then the faster the CD4 cell (or T cell) count will fall, weakening the immune system and creating a greater risk of becoming ill.3 



While more people are living longer with HIV today, the number of insurers is limited. Don’t fret over this! At Ash Brokerage, we have partnered with carriers who are willing to consider HIV risk candidates.  The best candidates: 

  • Are between the ages of 35-60 
  • See an infectious disease physician
  • Have a minimum 3-5 year of ART compliance
  • Are negative for Hepatitis B and C 
  • Don’t have any co-morbid factors, such as coronary artery disease, diabetes or depression 
  • Have maintained favorable and consistent CD4 and viral loads


Reach Out

At Ash Brokerage, you have a dedicated staff of experienced and well versed underwriters available to answer your questions regarding your clients with HIV. Our HIV Questionnaire can help guide your conversation with clients by obtaining the details essential for an accurate assessment. 


About the Author

Kiana has been working in the brokerage industry for 20 years, with the last 15 years in underwriting. As an underwriter at Ash Brokerage, she truly loves serving as a client advocate because she values the responsibility of satisfying each client's planning needs.


Learn More

Ash HIV Questionnaire:

1Centers for Disease Control, HIV Transmission:

2CDC, Living With HIV:

3Aidsmap, Viral Load: