HIV Aids

Life Insurance
Your Will
  Medical Treatment

If you are gay or lesbian or if you or your partner are HIV+ or suffering from Aids it is very important that you fully understand your rights and options to minimise hurt, suffering and financial difficulties.

Please read the disclaimer.

See also: [Discrimination] [Partners] [Links - HIV Aids]
[Laws - Country - County/Province/Region/State - HIV Aids]

GayLawNet® HIV Aids
Updated on 12 February 2012 at 2230L (GMT+11)


You should review the information under Discrimination.

Life Insurance

The earlier near absolute refusal of insurers to cover "high risk" persons has been moderated in some jurisdicitions and in Victoria by the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 and by the Australian Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992. (See Discrimination).

There are insurers out there who will offer you cover. Shop around, check your local gay and lesbian newspapers or business directories for insurance brokers.

Where you or your partner are carrying significant debt (perhaps a home mortgage) a policy of insurance would soften the blow and perhaps prevent you or your partner having to sell your home in the event that one of you were to die.

Term insurance can be reduced annually as your debt reduces and the premiums are much more moderate than in the usual life insurance.

Insurers are sometimes reluctant to offer term insurance without first trying to sell a life insurance policy (which policies often have trailing commissions payable to the broker), but you should insist on being given details of such insurance.

Annuities, Pensions, Superannuation

Such "assets" are usually held by the trustee of the fund and therefore do not in most cases form part of your Estate, governed by the provisions of your Will.

Check to see whether you can make a binding or non-binding nominatation of a beneficiary under your policy. If so, you can nominate your partner and also spell out an identical provision in your Will.

Provided you are not supporting any other dependants, by nominating a beneficiary you will prevent the proceeds going to a family beneficiary contrary to your wishes, especially if you do not have a Will (though you should attend to making a Will (see below).

Such nominations may have to be renewed periodically, typically every three (3) years.

Your Will

HIV+ and Aids sufferers should attend to finalising their Will without delay. If you want to protect your partner and give him or her an interest in your estate, see you attorney and discuss the making your Will. (See also Incapacity, Wills, Death & Inheritance).


If you are seriously ill and money is desperately short, you may be able to raise cash on your life insurance policy, but you can expect the value to be discounted by the viatical purchaser of your policy.

In some regions, you will find that your local Positive Living Resource Centre or People Living With Aids organisation will negotiate the sale of your policy.

If you own your home and have substantial equity in the property, it is also possible to raise funds against the security of your home, with deferred repayments, or a "reverse" mortgage. However, you should seek professional advice before agreeing to such an arrangement.

Medical Treatment

Most countries now have a system where you can set out your wishes for medical treatment, or have your partner or a trusted friend consult with your medical advisers concerning your treatment. This is normally documented in a living will Health Care Directive (USA) or Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) (Australia - Victoria).

(See also Incapacity, Wills, Death & Inheritance).

It is most important that you discuss your treatment with your appointed representative, so that they understand your wishes. To minimise any conflict between family and your partner, it is preferable that you have documentation prepared that sets out your wishes given various scenarios.

Consult your attorney, whose charges are usually reasonably modest for preparing the necessary document.

Doctors and Health Professionals

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