Life cover for HIV positive individuals now a reality in South Africa
Living with HIV is not the death sentence that it used to be in the 90's. We can live full and productive lives so long as we take care of ourselves.What is of high importance is that we must make sure we take our ARV's, eat a well balanced diet and live a healthy life. Good food and regular exercise are not enough to guarantee our longevity though - we must strictly adhere to taking the prescribed antiretroviral treatments.
And it's only fair that we are cautious with the people we interact with. It's wise to make sure that people close to us know we carry the disease and that we practice (very) safe sex. If we are in some kind of accident they should know how to protect themselves with latex gloves when treating an open wound, for example. But this all sounds a little bit extreme, let's focus on the positive!
If you take your ARV's - then the good news is you will most likely live a long and happy life – almost as long as people who are HIV free. Even better news, is that you are able to apply for life insurance, even if you are HIV positive.
(your information is confidential)
Have we conquered HIV in babies?
Recent studies indicate that if a child with a suspected HIV infection is given aggressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) within thirty hours of being born, the chances of the virus developing is hugely reduced. Read this article for more information about hopefuly curing HIV in babies. Most recently though, this looks like it is not a succesful as was hoped.
Are HIV vaccines effective in adults (yet)?
While there are multiple trials currently underway worldwide, it's a tough virus to defeat as different strains of HIV affect various ethnic groups in different ways. This article points out the many trials and tribulations that HIV researchers have faced over the last 30 odd years and a more recent article on News24 discusses HIV trials in South Africa. While HIV is far from cured, it's great to know that there are many researchers actively finding new ways of combating the disease. In a very recent study, a drug intended for fighting cancer looks to provide some hope for flushing out dormant HIV from "reservoirs" and hopefully landing it the death blow in a 1,2 approach know as "kick and kill".
However, until such a time that we have effective tools for combating this disease, it's good to know that we can have quality of life.
We live in ever changing times where peoples reaction to diseases like HIV have progressed from the horrified to informed.
Thankfully a few South African insurance companies are part of this enlightened group and are paying attention to research that shown people with HIV live long and fruitful lives.
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