HIV-Aids and Medical Schemes

With HIV-Aids, it can take a decade or even longer for full-blown AIDS to develop after the first infection with HIV.  HIV can be spread through unprotected sex, sharing needles or even with new babies getting the HIV virus from their infected mothers.

HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system. The virus destroys T-helper cells and you have to contend with a dysfunctional immune system. You’ll have –

  • allergies
  • frequent colds and flu
  • herpes outbreaks
  • psoriasis and eczema
  • inflammatory disorders
  • candida yeast overgrowth
  • parasite infections
  • ongoing fatigue
  • aching joints


HIV-AidsPeople with HIV-Aids face long-term treatment, and without medical aid, they would have to spend a lot of money on treatments for their disease.

You can choose a hospital plan too which is cheaper than comprehensive medical aid plans, and these are excellent financial resources to protect HIV positive people. As a person living with HIV, you need to know what a medical aid hospital plan will pay for. As the disease progresses you may want to move from a hospital plan to a more comprehensive plan. These are different financial products and the benefits with each plan differs.

Whether a hospital or comprehensive medical aid, there is no cure for HIV/Aids, but the disease can be managed with antiretroviral treatment (ART) and drugs to keep the disease under control.

You can’t be Denied Medical Aid Acceptance – HIV-Aids

Medical aids in South Africa can’t refuse membership to any person irrespective of their health status. Medical aids are open to all those diagnosed as HIV positive. Most of these medical aids have exclusion policies where any pre-existing chronic conditions such as HIV/Aids won’t be covered in the first year of joining.

After this exclusion period, you will enjoy all the benefits of medical aid cover with special programmes for HIV/AIDS patients. Medical aids don’t cover any treatment for a pre-existing condition within the first year of joining the medical scheme.

A person with HIV and AIDS can become a member of a medical aid but they need to know there can be restrictions for a period of time.

Some information regarding medical aids and HIV/Aids –

  • On joining a medical aid, you have to declare your status as it is considered a pre-existing condition
  • Failure to disclose your pre-existing disease can result in the medical aid not paying any of your bills
  • Just as with other pre-existing conditions, there will be a 3-month general waiting period before healthcare costs come into effect. This means that for the first 3 months, you won’t have coverage.
  • Medical aids have different wellness and management programs to ensure that HIV positive members get appropriate care.
  • GEMS Medical Scheme also has an HIV-AIDS Disease Management Programme. A team of healthcare professionals manages it. And registering on the programme gives you access to medicines to treat HIV/AIDS as well as medicines to treat diseases coming from this ailment, pathology tests, reminders for check-ups and more. If you don’t know if you have the disease, GEMS will pay for your test to find out if you do have Aids.



Discovery Health has their HIV/Programme. Also, Discovery is South Africa’s biggest medical aid, and their focus is, with your Premier Plus GP, to help you manage your condition. A Premier Plus GP is a network GP provides high-quality healthcare and is with Discovery.

Whichever medical aid you opt to sign up with, each one offers its own benefits. The level of cover you get for HIV/Aids will differ according to each plan, but with plenty of medical expenses lying ahead, your best bet is to sign up with a good medical aid such as Discovery and to join their AIDS Disease Management Programme. This way you stand the best chance to have control over your disease.

All info was correct at time of publishing