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Travelling with HIV

Will I be refused travel insurance if I have HIV?

No, you should be able to find a policy, but you may find that you need to use a specialist medical travel insurer, like MIA, to make sure that you're properly covered for your trip. Here at MIA, we pride ourselves at being able to provide insurance to those travellers who may have experienced trouble getting medical insurance elsewhere.

Despite our best efforts, there may be occasions that we can't find a policy that's right for you, as with all insurance this will depend on many factors, such as the destination that you're hoping to travel to, your health and the stability of your condition.

What's covered?

MIA is made up of two specialist medical travel insurance products, Clear2Go and Clear4Travel. Each product has its own levels of cover:

  • Medical cover up to £5,000,000 per person
  • Baggage Cover of up to £1,500 per person
  • Cancellation cover of between £1,000 and £2,000
  • Medical cover up to £5,000,000 per person
  • Baggage Cover of up to £1,500 per person
  • Cancellation cover of between £2,000 and £5,000
  • Hospitalisation cover and personal accident cover - inclusive of death benefit of up to £30,000

Please see our policy wording for a full list of benefits and exclusions.

Medical Screening

We know that getting a medical travel insurance quote can be difficult or complex, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition, so our aim is to make things as simple as possible.

Here at MIA, we hope to get you a policy that's right for you, with as little fuss as possible. To help us do this we have two simple solutions, a fast-online quote system, and a friendly and experienced team on the phone to help talk you through your needs.

Travelling with HIV - Tips

1. Check your destination

As you are probably aware, some countries restrict the entry of HIV positive travellers, thankfully progress is being made against this discrimination, but it's still necessary to check the destination that you're hoping to travel to before you book your trip. You can look into the country or countries that you're interested in, on the Global Database on HIV Specific Travel Restrictions website. If you choose to travel to a destination with restrictions and you are found to have medications for treating HIV, you may be deported, and your travel insurance would become invalid.

2. Talk to your doctor

Make an appointment to speak with your doctor, or a member of your medical team, at least eight weeks before you travel. If your viral load or CD4 count is of concern, or there are plans to change your HIV medication, you may be advised not to travel until things have settled, so make sure that you speak to your doctor before booking your trip.

3. Vaccinations

If you are planning on travelling to a destination that requires vaccinations, it's important that you discuss this with your doctor with at least 2-3 months’ notice. Due to compromised immunity, people that are HIV positive may need to have their vaccinations administered over a longer period of time or have different doses. Most vaccines are safe for those that are HIV positive, but there are some exceptions; for example, live vaccines can pose a small risk, but your medical team can advise on the best course of action for you.

4. Medication

You'll need to make sure you have enough prescribed medication for the length of your trip, plus a little extra in case of delays. To avoid damage or loss, carry your medications in your carry-on luggage in its original packaging. You may need a letter from your doctor explaining what your medications are for and to ensure that it's for your personal use. If you're travelling through time-zones speak to your doctor about the effects that this may have on your HIV medication regime, and how to make adjustments. Some medications are sensitive to temperature or even light, so make sure that you have accounted for this while you're away. If you need to take your medication with food, pack some snacks like cereal bars and biscuits that travel well, to ensure that you've got something to hand wherever you are. Some medication restricted, the NHS website can offer more information about taking your medicines abroad.

5. Staying Healthy

Dependant on your destination, it may be a little more challenging to keep yourself healthy but if you're sensible there’s no reason you can’t have a fantastic trip! Be wary of the usual suspects, tap water, ice, fruits and vegetables that can't be peeled and particularly risky foods such as shellfish, undercooked meat and unpasteurised dairy. It may be good practice to take hand sanitiser with you, along with some anti-diarrhoea medication, anti-sickness tablets and rehydration medication - just in case.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a fit-to-fly letter from my GP?

In some cases, we will ask for confirmation that you're healthy enough to travel, but this is considered on a case by case basis. Whatever happens, you should discuss your travel plans with your medical team to ensure that you get the correct advice.

Will my policy cover any pre-existing or secondary illnesses?

As long as we know your full medical history, we can usually find a policy that covers all of your needs. If we can't offer travel insurance for every aspect of your medical needs, we'll let you know before you purchase your insurance policy.

What happens if I'm too unwell and have to cancel my trip?

If you’re deemed unfit to travel by a doctor, we will offer refunds for all expenses that cannot be refunded via normal means. This covers any travelling companions that are insured on your policy. If your companions are insured separately, they may not be covered if your trip is cancelled.

If you have any other questions, we'd be happy to talk things through with you.