Good News for Australians taking PrEP for HIV prevention
People using PrEP are now eligible for the full range of Life Insurances stigma-free if you know specialist Financial Advisor Drew Browne, the person behind unusualrisks.com.au
This means people using PrEP can get a full range of insurance covers;
- Life Insurance
- Income Protection
- Critical Illness cover
- Total and Permanent Disability (TPD), and even
- Business Expenses and KeyPerson cover
It's now all available to Australians taking PrEP - stigma and attitude free - through the specialist financial advisers behind unusualrisks.com.au
So what is PrEP?
You may have already heard about PrEP or perhaps you're looking for more information about how it affects your chances of getting Life Insurance or Income Protection cover?
Either way, PrEP is a medical breakthrough that's already playing a vital role in the efforts to end HIV by 2020. Now the medication is listed on the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme), just about anyone can now get on it.
Taking PrEP is a highly effective medication for preventing exposure to HIV.
- PrEP is an acronym that stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It involves HIV negative people taking antiretroviral drugs to protect them and prevent HIV infection – in just one tablet a day.
- PrEP is, as the name implies, a pre-exposure strategy, unlike post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is taken after potential exposure to HIV has occurred.
In a nut-shell:
- Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) or technically more accurate, HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), simply refers to the regular use of HIV medications by HIV-negative people to prevent them from acquiring HIV.
Who is taking PrEP?
Whether exposure to HIV is through sex or needlestick injuries, there are many people using PrEP to prevent them being exposed to HIV and taking control of their sexual health and future wellbeing.
- Studies show PrEP is effective but the uptake of PrEP has been slow with research showing that's partly due to Stigma and Discrimination concerns - something the team at unusualrisks.com.au understands and provides a complete solution for when you need to apply for Life Insurances or Income Protection.
In Australia, lots of people use PrEP for lots of reasons.
- Some sexually active gay and bisexual men, transgender people and heterosexual people with an HIV positive partner who doesn't have an undetectable viral load, are part of the population groups at higher risk.
- Similarly, Medical Professionals, Police, Fire, Ambulance and Emergency Responders are all at higher risk of occupational exposure to blood-borne viruses through sharps and needlestick injury.
In Australia, approximately 30 needlestick injuries per 100 beds occur per year. At least 18,000 healthcare professionals suffer from an NSI every year. And 80% of reported NSIs involve a contaminated needle. The Alliance for Sharps Safety and Needlestick Prevention in Healthcare
Research shows that the medication used for PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV transmission among these population groups.
You can learn more about PrEP here.
What's the problem with PrEP and getting Life Insurance?
Up until now, Australian's taking PrEP have faced uncertainty, stigma and discrimination from Life Insurance companies towards the use of PrEP (and routinely find they also have to be the educator about PrEP).
- People applying for insurance through online comparison websites report completing the application with full lifestyle and medical disclosures, only to feel insulted when a formal decline is issued due to 'lifestyle considerations'
- People applying for insurance in their Superannuation fund report being routinely knocked back (and usually after having to disclose a full medical and lifestyle history) as the insurance provider doesn't 'deal with PrEP users'.
Most insurance companies and super funds simply do not provide underwriting for people with unusual occupations, hobbies, pastimes or lifestyles - if you get what we mean.
That's why people use the expertise of unusualrisks.com.au to get their insurances sorted - stigma-free.
How have Life insurance companies treated people taking PrEP?
The New York Times broke the story of Dr. Philip Cheng, a urologist in Boston taking PrEP and being denied full insurance cover until he stopped taking, Truvada (the pharmaceutical brand name for PrEP) to prevent HIV infection.
- Many people applying for Life Insurances when disclosing they are taking PrEP to prevent them being exposed to HIV have found themselves discriminated against and received forced formal declines on insurance applications for Life Insurance or Income Protection cover.
When American News is not accurate for Australia
Today as many people get their news from the internet, the growing risk is it may not always be relevant in Australia.
Many American Life Insurance companies take a discriminatory approach to how they underwrite the use of PrEP and outright deny any form of insurance coverage.
Many Australian Life Insurance companies and Super funds formerly decline applications for insurance by people using PrEP and discriminate in a similar way against people with well managed HIV or Diabetes.
Good news for Australians taking PrEP
The good news is Australian's using PrEP and who need Life Insurance or Income Protection, now have a clear pathway to getting their cover sorted - stigma and discrimination free - through unusualrisks.com.au