This paper analyses the relationships between HIV/AIDS and education taking into account the appropriative nature of child income. Using a theoretical model, we show that considering remittances from one’s child as an insurance asset can reverse the usual negative relationship between disease prevalence and educational investment. This prediction confirms the results of an empirical study conducted on data compiled from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) database for 12 sub-Sahara African countries for children aged between 7 and 22-years-old. Using regional HIV prevalence as a measure of health risk, we find that the ‘sign of the slope’ between health risk and the enrolment of children is not constant. Splitting the data based on expected remittance patterns (for example rural versus urban), we obtain that the effect is most likely driven by household characteristics related to child income appropriation.