I was out at my parent’s house – they are quite elderly – helping them fix up the place and I was on a ladder, painting the walls when I fell off and broke my foot.
That incident and what followed really brought home to me the fact that I was ageing too. I had to take a few weeks off work and by then end of it, I was really struggling financially. It was really quite scary. So when I got back to work, the first thing I tried to arrange was income protection insurance which is when I found out that I couldn’t.
Because I had HIV.
In fact, no insurance company in Australia provides income protection insurance to people with HIV. Despite the fact that I was at fulltime work, hadn’t taken a day off sick in I don’t know how long, and was perfectly healthy.
I went to HALC and they’ve taken on my complaint. We went to the Anti-Discrimination Board first, and now it’s gone to the Tribunal. The insurers have such an out-dated view about HIV. They treated me like we were still back in the 80s and the early nineties, before treatment. HALC have arranged for expert evidence so that we could show how far we’ve come. It’s going to take some time I know, but I’m sure that with HALC’s help we will get there.
[all names and information that might identify any individual have been changed for confidentiality purposes]
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