Our health monitoring programme
A key requirement for the Advantage Life or Advantage Life Disability policy is your commitment to being adherent.
Our health monitoring programme
A key requirement for the Advantage Life or Advantage Life Disability policy is a commitment to your health and being adherent.
AllLife’s definition of adherence is included with our life insurance policy documents and/or application form. You need to accept this definition and commit to being adherent in terms of this definition. Adherence to proper monitoring and treatment is still the only proven way to maintain optimal health for people living with HIV.
Further information to assist you with adherence can be found in “About HIV”.
Definition of health monitoring
For clients who are not enrolled on antiretroviral therapy (ART), the life insured must commit to taking a CD4+ blood test at least once every 6 months, and to provide a copy of these results to us. Should the life insured register a CD4+ count of below 200 cells/mm3 in any CD4+ test, they further commit to start appropriate ART within 60 days and to follow this treatment as prescribed.
For clients who are enrolled on antiretroviral therapy (ART), or for clients who enrol on ART subsequent to the inception of their policy, the life insured commits to taking both a CD4+ count and RNA Viral Load tests at least once every 6 months, and to provide a copy of these results to us.
Note that all blood tests are for the life insured’s own account (generally paid for by medical aid or the public health sector).
Where an individual enrolled on ART registers two consecutive blood tests showing a reduction in CD4+ count or a Viral Load above 1000 copies/ml in any single test, AllLife will issue an adherence warning to the client and request that the life insured takes the necessary steps to remain adherent.
AllLife recommends adherence monitoring and ART intervention as per the guidelines of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society, which is in line with most treating healthcare providers’ guidelines.
Understand more about HIV and how to live a happy, healthy life when you are HIV-positive.
Leave your details below to get more lifestyle tips, updates on medical research, and other resources to help you and your family live a healthy happy life in the presence of HIV.
How to remain adherent
Policyholders commit to take scheduled CD4+ blood tests and to initiate antiretroviral therapy immediately upon registering a CD4+ result of below 200 cells/mm3. The antiretroviral therapy will be as prescribed by the policy holder’s healthcare practitioner and/or managed healthcare company.
Once on ART, adherence means taking the ART drugs daily as per the prescribed regime:
Once daily means precisely at the same time every day.
Twice daily means precisely every 12 hours (e.g. 6:00 am and 6:00 pm).
Three times daily means precisely every 8 hours (e.g. 6:00 am, 2:00 pm, 10:00 pm).
Blood test results need to show that you are taking your drugs properly. Once beginning ART, adverse test results may indicate that treatment is not working. This may be due to you not taking the medication properly, or because you are becoming resistant to the prescribed ART regime. If you are not taking your medication correctly you will need to take appropriate steps to rectify the situation, or you may be classified as non-adherent. Should you become resistant to your prescribed ART regimen, you must change your ART regimen within 6 months. Failure to take appropriate action will result in you being designated non-adherent.
In addition, if no blood test is conducted within the stipulated period (every 6 months), then the insured is deemed to be non-adherent. If you are designated non-adherent, then payout benefits will be automatically reduced to accident only cover and any disability benefit will be suspended.
We all have questions.
Below are some of the answers to the most common questions around HIV.
What is usually the first sign of HIV?
After becoming infected with HIV, most patients only experience moderate flu-like symptoms. Typically, the illness is sudden in onset and is characterised by fever, swelling of the lymph glands, a measles-like rash all over the body, ulcers in the mouth and sometimes on the genitalia.
What are the 4 stages of HIV?
- Stage 1: Infection – Exposure to infected bodily fluids.
- Stage 2: Asymptomatic – HIV quickly spreads and the patient becomes seropositive for HIV antibodies.
- Stage 3: Symptomatic – The immune system is now engaged in a constant battle with the rapidly replicating virus.
- Stage 4: AIDS – At this stage, the patient’s CD4+ count is 200 cells per mm3 or less.
How soon can HIV be detected by a blood test?
No test can detect HIV immediately after infection. The time between initial infection and a detectable viral load is called the window period. It can take anywhere from 2-12 weeks to after exposure, to detect whether you are HIV-positive or not, depending on which testing method is used.
How long does it take to show symptoms of HIV?
Following initial infection, there is a period of intense, unchecked viral replication that occurs. It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks after infection and can last about 1 to 2 weeks, after which there tends to be a slight recovery, and the infected individual is considered to be seropositive for HIV antibodies.
How is HIV transmitted?
HIV is transmitted from one person to another through the exchange of body fluids. The main method of transmission in South Africa is through unprotected sexual activity.
Does HIV test affect life insurance?
Being HIV-positive can affect standard life insurance policies, particularly if your status changes from HIV-negative to HIV-positive within a particular age range. That’s why AllLife covers all lives. Your HIV status doesn’t prevent you from getting cover with us.
Can HIV-positive women have children?
Yes, HIV-positive women can enjoy healthy pregnancies and give birth to healthy HIV-negative babies, through the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) programme. PMTCT has been highly effective in reducing the HIV transmission risk to under 1%.
What you need to know about HIV.
Find out how HIV is transmitted and how it’s linked to AIDS.
The effects of HIV on the immune system.
Understand the effects HIV has on the immune system and when drug therapy is necessary.
When to start Antiretroviral treatment and the reasons behind why you should not delay treatment.