HIV and COVID-19
What we know so far – March 2020 Update HIV, COVID-19, and your policy with AllLife.
As a valued policy holder and someone living with HIV, you may be concerned about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect your policy and the measures South Africa has taken to curb the spread of the associated virus. We hope this update will help.
Your Policy with AllLife
During these difficult times, we want to assure you that you and your family have the peace of mind of knowing your life cover will not be affected by COVID-19. It has however never been more important to continue to pay your premiums, to keep your policy active and to ensure that you are adequately covered. We are taking all the necessary measures to ensure that the ongoing operations of our business will continue to function as normal, including the ongoing collection of premiums, the payment of all claims and the servicing of your policy. You can contact as before as follows:
Sales 0861 25 55 43
Customer Care 0861 55 55 59
We understand you need us now more than ever and we will do everything within our power to meet the expectations you had of AllLife when you entrusted us with your financial security. We will get through this together.
What is COVID-19?
The virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is also known by its disease name, Coronavirus, or COVID-19. As the pandemic has spread across the globe, significant measures have had to be taken by governments and communities to stem the spread. The South African government has taken significant steps to help the general population protect themselves against the spread of COVID-19, and we hope this update will help you make the necessary choices for ensuring your health at this time.
What is happening with COVID-19?
Covid-19, in many respects, behaves like the flu but is far more contagious. Moreover, COVID-19 can develop into a form of pneumonia that can be fatal. Although up to 80% of the people who contract the virus appear to battle merely mild symptoms, the remaining 20% develop more serious illness especially when the affected person has other health conditions or illnesses.
What must I do as someone living with HIV?
As yet, not enough research has been conducted to show any firm results on how COVID-19 and HIV interact, so the most important things to do are:
- Stay healthy: Continue to eat well, get enough sleep, and get enough exercise. Stick to your treatment plan, as this supports your immune system.
- Stay on your treatment: Sticking to your ARV treatment plan keeps you healthy right now, and it will continue to support your body. Staying on treatment is vital and, if you know anyone who is HIV-positive and not yet on ARV treatment, remind them to get started on treatment straight away.
- Stay ahead of the game: In times of a pandemic, healthcare facilities will be overwhelmed by patients and emergencies. Get in touch with your doctor or clinic sister by telephone and ask about their contingency plans for ensuring you’ll be able to pick up your required medication.
- Stay safe: Practicing excellent hygiene is always important, but owing to the easy way COVID-19 can be transmitted, it’s now doubly important. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds a time, with soap, and keep at least 2 metres between yourself and anyone who appears to be ill. Staying home for movie nights with just your family is now the only thing to do while we are on national lockdown. Cuddling up with a good book is very much the latest hobby. Start experimenting with recipes and adventurous with your cooking.
- Stay up to date: Don’t let the constant news updates overwhelm you. Rather, stick to the verified sources of updates from the Department of Health, and adhere to their recommended guidelines. The COVID-19 pandemic has put the global population into a spin, and misinformation is rife. Stick to one reliable source.
- What to do if you don’t feel well: If you don’t feel well, get in touch with your doctor or clinic sister over the telephone, and follow their guidance for what to do next.
- Get vaccinated: Ask your doctor or clinic sister if a flu vaccine is appropriate for you, and get vaccinated during this coming “flu season”.
COVID-19 Research as of March 2020
COVID-19 Vaccine: The entire medical industry across the globe is working hard to find a suitable treatment and vaccine for COVID-19. Right now, however, there is no available cure or vaccine. Current estimates predict that we will have the first vaccine available in 18 months’ time.
COVID-19 Treatment: Various treatment programmes for COVID-19 are being trialled. These include treatment trials that use elements of commonly known ARV treatment programmes, treatments for Malaria, influenza treatments and other drugs. As yet, none have proven entirely effective, but some are showing good results. The search for a vaccine is also underway.
How to stay updated
The National Department of Health (DoH) and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) are committed to keeping everyone up to date with the most important information related to COVID-19. See below for how you can stay up to date:
Department of Health website: http://www.health.gov.za/
NICD website: http://www.nicd.ac.za/
WhatsApp: Save the number 0600 123456 as COVID-19 Connect, to your contacts on your cell phone. In WhatsApp, send the word “Hi” to COVID-19 Connect and start chatting.
COVID-19 Hotline: 0800 0299 99