Insurability of HIV-positive people treated with antiretroviral therapy in Europe: collaborative analysis of HIV cohort studies

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Abstract

Objective:

To increase equitable access to life insurance for HIV-positive individuals by identifying subgroups with lower relative mortality.

Design:

Collaborative analysis of cohort studies.

Methods:

We estimated relative mortality from 6 months after starting antiretroviral therapy (ART), compared with the insured population in each country, among adult patients from European cohorts participating in the ART Cohort Collaboration (ART-CC) who were not infected via injection drug use, had not tested positive for hepatitis C, and started triple ART between 1996–2008. We used Poisson models for mortality, with the expected number of deaths according to age, sex and country specified as offset.

Results:

There were 1236 deaths recorded among 34 680 patients followed for 174 906 person-years. Relative mortality was lower in patients with higher CD4 cell count and lower HIV-1 RNA 6 months after starting ART, without prior AIDS, who were older, and who started ART after 2000. Compared with insured HIV-negative lives, estimated relative mortality of patients aged 20–39 from France, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain and Switzerland, who started ART after 2000 had 6-month CD4 cell count at least 350 cells/μl and HIV-1 RNA less than104 copies/ml and without prior AIDS was 459%. The proportion of exposure time with relative mortality below 300, 400, 500 and 600% was 28, 43, 61 and 64%, respectively, suggesting that more than 50% of patients (those with lower relative mortality) could be insurable.

Conclusion:

The continuing long-term effectiveness of ART implies that life insurance with sufficiently long duration to cover a mortgage is feasible for many HIV-positive people successfully treated with ART for more than 6 months.

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