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Author Topic: Travelling with medications.  (Read 2413 times)

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Offline Ihavehope

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  • Posts: 1,366
  • Yes, I'm a cry baby, AND WHAT?
Travelling with medications.
« on: April 02, 2007, 02:06:09 PM »
I may be travelling abroad soon and was wondering if anyone has ever had problems with customs or the airline and your medications. Since there is excessive security, they tend to open and scan every single carry-on and if they question what the meds are for what have you said? I am just terrribly afraid to be confronted by some ignorant customs in some foreign country who will not let me in if I tell him I am HIV positive. I know nothing bad will occur to me being an American citizen but i've had difficulties with customs in other countries trying to find a little excuse to get money out of me or make me wait for hours. Can i tell them it's for another disease to avoid any problems?

Al
Infected: April 2005
12/6/06 - Diagnosed HIV positive
12/19/06 - CD4 = 240  22% VL = 26,300
1/4/07 - CD4 = 200 16% VL = ?
2/9/07 = Started Kaletra/Truvada
3/13/07 = CD4 = 386 22% VL ?

Offline sdcabincrew74

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Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2007, 03:36:45 PM »
When it is TSA in the US that gives me problems, I say, rather loudy, "They are AIDS medications you got a problem with that?"  That usually causes more than a few chuckles and some red faces. 

In other countries, I have never, EVER had them question.  But I do put them in vitamin bottles if I am going to a country that does not allow POZ folks, like Austrailia and China.  Again, never detained, never questioned, so much simpler everywhere else!
The difference between an overnight and a layover is luck!

Offline egello

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Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2007, 03:47:43 PM »
What is TSA?
Reyataz / Norvir / Truvada/ Androgel 5 g / 2 days
1/29/07 14 T, 300 k V, 1.8 %
2/22/07 197 T, 247 V, 6.8 %
3/27/07 164 T, <50 V, 5.4 %
5/28/07 177 T, <50 V, 8.2 %
7/28/07 214 T, <50 V, 9.6 %
10/3/07 380 T, <50 V, 10 % no more Mepron, Famvir

Offline Val

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Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2007, 04:44:39 PM »
Al, darling, I would advise you to be sincere and upfront  in all your trips abroad regarding your medicines.  Now, it all depends to which country you'll be travelling!  If you're going, say, to Saudi Arabia, watch out. 
Nowadays,  and for any poz folks out there planning to travel, it is always better to check everything before living home!  Seriously. 
Again, if you're travelling to any country of The European Union with your prescriptions and all, no problem whatsoever.  I usually ask my doctor for a letter (in French and in English) stating what the medicines are for in addition to the prescription.  One never knows!
If you have any doubts about the country you're travelling to, call the embassy and/or consulate of that country.

Val
___
___
P.S.I don't lie about my status --- ever!
Arthus Bertrand
http://www.yannarthusbertrand.com/yann2/affichage.php?reference=TVDC%20YABFR084&pais=France
Ali Mahdavi
http://asyoudesireme.online.fr/index.htm
Richard de Chazal
http://www.richarddechazal.com/
Daniel Nassoy
http://www.danielnassoy.com/pages/galeries_portraits_2.html
Photography:
The word comes from the Greek words φως phos ("light"), and γραφίς graphis ("stylus", "paintbrush") or γραφή graphê, together meaning "drawing with light" or "representation by means of lines".

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2007, 04:48:05 PM »
No, I've never encountered a problem... and being a long-timer I travel with a huge amounts of pill bottles all one cosmetics bag.  When they've opened the bag I just say "medications" and they zip it back up.  They've never opened them or asked what illness I have.  I'd assume they are trained this way.

Now, last May when I was exiting Iceland they pulled me aside as my fuzeon Biojector which looks like this:

http://www.bioject.com/biojector2000.html

Cause concern in the X-ray machine (though it had not done so when I departed from BWI from the States) so when they pulled me aside I presented them a letter from my doctor explaining the device and its use, and that it was part of a clinical study.  However, at no point was the word HIV mentioned or asked about... as there are many other injectables folks take.  This all took a brief five minutes and the cute young Viking with blond hair smiled and waved me through.

I've been in a dozen foreign countries since my diagnosis and have NEVER had a bad confrontation about this. You really should not worry about it, and there's no need to cower with these people.  Thing of all the elderly who travel with HEAPS of pharmaceuticals.  They simply are required to accommodate the traveler.

However, if you are on a clinical trial you should have a letter drawn up by your doctor which as far as I've seen will also be attached to some generic supporting document  sent by TSA.

Trust... it's rather easy.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Ihavehope

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,366
  • Yes, I'm a cry baby, AND WHAT?
Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2007, 04:56:40 PM »
thank you guys for your advice, it has been extremely helpful.

Infected: April 2005
12/6/06 - Diagnosed HIV positive
12/19/06 - CD4 = 240  22% VL = 26,300
1/4/07 - CD4 = 200 16% VL = ?
2/9/07 = Started Kaletra/Truvada
3/13/07 = CD4 = 386 22% VL ?

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2007, 05:04:21 PM »
So where are you off to?
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Ihavehope

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  • Posts: 1,366
  • Yes, I'm a cry baby, AND WHAT?
Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2007, 05:06:44 PM »
I don't have much money so my options would be either Cancun or Punta Cana which I can find a good deal. My frist choice was San Juan but the prices are a bit much for the summer.
Infected: April 2005
12/6/06 - Diagnosed HIV positive
12/19/06 - CD4 = 240  22% VL = 26,300
1/4/07 - CD4 = 200 16% VL = ?
2/9/07 = Started Kaletra/Truvada
3/13/07 = CD4 = 386 22% VL ?

Offline Val

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  • Praxitèles -- Satyre au repos
Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2007, 05:19:38 PM »
Well, in that case you really don't have to worry at all.  I was in Cancun two years ago, and everything went just fine.  Of course, if you can spit some nice words in Spanish, like,  "Vous êtes très beau!", oh no, this is Français!  No, you gotta say something sexy, like,  "Que ojos lindos tiene Ud., mi corazon!",  then the cutie may even get a little more interested, if you get my drift! ::)

Same thing for Punta Cana.  I was there last year and had a blast!  They speak something close to Spanish in there (smile!), and the people are so adorable, I tell you.  Now, they did open all of my lugages at the airport.  AIDS, in Spanish, is just (or almost) the opposite of English:  SIDA.  El SIDA.  And, believe me, when I told them that my meds were for treating Hiv and, of course, they didn't get it at the first try;  I next told them in a quite different tone:
"Estos medicamentos son para el tratamiento del SIDA, sabes?, como AIDS en inglés."

I was out of there in two minutes.  He just realized that I was crazy anyway, not to say stubborn (right, Sacha?), and told me:  "Si, si mi amigo, vaya con Dios"! ;D ::)
Hey, you gotta scare people sometimes, I tell ya!

Val
___
___
Arthus Bertrand
http://www.yannarthusbertrand.com/yann2/affichage.php?reference=TVDC%20YABFR084&pais=France
Ali Mahdavi
http://asyoudesireme.online.fr/index.htm
Richard de Chazal
http://www.richarddechazal.com/
Daniel Nassoy
http://www.danielnassoy.com/pages/galeries_portraits_2.html
Photography:
The word comes from the Greek words φως phos ("light"), and γραφίς graphis ("stylus", "paintbrush") or γραφή graphê, together meaning "drawing with light" or "representation by means of lines".

Offline sdcabincrew74

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Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2007, 07:24:36 PM »
What is TSA?

The Transportation Safety Administration (the folks doing nothing at the security check points at the airport).  I call them Thousands Standing Around ... but then, I am jaded flight attendant and frequent traveler!
The difference between an overnight and a layover is luck!

Offline tigger2376

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  • Posts: 462
  • too bad to die youngish!
Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2007, 07:31:04 PM »
Just FYI the Times newspaper ran an article recently with some SERIOUSLY funky/cool/practical pill dispensers. Pink leather anyone?
I find it helps if you want to be discreet to carry them in something like this, personally I use stacking circular plastic cases that twist apart, that are meant for  lipstick,so i can carry as much/little or possible
i've found carrying a docs letter helps, JIC some jobsworth really gets nosey, but most airport staff are pretty cool
I know i'm going to enjoy the party in the afterlife, but do you all mind that I'm going to be VERY late!!!

Offline Esquare

  • Member
  • Posts: 237
Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2007, 07:48:04 PM »
I'm considering starting a blog or website that deals with HIV travel related issues. Pre-HIV, I traveled quite a bit to foreign countries to drum up business. I decided to take a break from the extensive travel since I have more business than I can handle right now and I wanted to get all the travel restrictions straight before I ventured off again. From what I can tell the European Union countries are all safe for travelling with meds. Eastern European countries seem to have restrictions of varying levels for HIV positives. Asian countries seem to have the worst policies in my opinion. I am soon going to place a call to the Korean Consulate General's office for clarification on their policy. Maybe we could get a section of the forums here dedicated to travel concerns and questions.

Offline SASA39

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  • Posts: 690
Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2007, 03:12:54 AM »
Yeah , a separate topic named  like " Travelling with unnecessary  lugage  ;D "
would be nice .
Oh baby  ,I would be so please to lose THAT part of luggage in the airport  ;D
OK travelling alone ............
But what if you are poz and travelling with  neg. wife and kids in a country like Serbia  ?  
Because of the  economical state  people overhere intend much more to look into other peoples bussines then to work or just do their duty
What should I say to a custom officer in front of the 50 people of my touristic group and a tourist guide ?   Vitamins , cancer drugs , ... because I cannot tell the true (for the sake of my loved ones) 
 
                                                                     Al             
Oct.     `06.  CD4=58  ?    %       VL not perform. ?!?
25.Dec.`06.         203       14        VL= 0
29.May.`07.    broken device        VL=1363
20.June`07     broken device        VL=0
25.Dec `07  CD4=582                  VL=70
14.May `08  CD4=448
29.July `08                                  VL=0
26.Nov `08  CD4=674                    VL=179
16.Mar `09  CD4=554                    VL=0
19.Jan`10 CD4=715               
03.Mar`10                                    VL=0
24.Aug`10 CD4=524                     VL=0
04.Dec`10 CD4=626                     VL=0
15.Sep`11                                   VL=93
17.Nov`11                                   VL=0
05/26 .Jul`12 CD4=713                 VL=0
28.Nov`12 CD4=916                     VL=0
09.May`13                                 VL=0

Offline Dragonette

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    • NotPerfectAtAll
Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2007, 07:37:11 AM »
It depends where you are travelling to. I once got stopped in Amsterdam, entering from a non-EU country, with a huge amount of drugs (it was before I was insured there so I brought a few months' supply with me + supplements and vitamins) while my bags were searched. It is not illegal for pozzies to travel anywhere in the EU but I was nervous, when they asked me what it was (consider that it could have been illegal drugs as far as customs were concerned) I looked them in the eye and said "I have a chronic disease". That was enough, the customs guy even apologized.

Since then I have a letter with me from the hospital signed by the doctors that says that I take drugs X, Y, Z permanetly - but doesn't say for what. It says, "for more detials, please contact Dr X". I never had to use it. Of course I would not risk entering the US or China with my drugs, these are countries which ban all HIV entrance (with the exception of HIV+ who go fro treatment or a conference to the US, who can ask for a special waiver; what this means is a big stamp of "HIV" in your passport... thank you but no thank you).

A letter from the doc is good also in case you lose your drugs, have an accident (knock on wood) etc.
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline blondbeauty

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Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2007, 10:45:13 AM »
I am traveling every day with my HIV meds as a cabin crew member. No questions asked. For the last 10 years I have also carried an entire bag with pills for many other things: antibiotics, malaria, diarrhea, flu, sleeping pills, caffeine pills...I have never been asked about them.
The only member in these forums approved by WINBA: World International Nail and Beauty Association.
Epstein Barr +; CMV +; Toxoplasmosis +; HIV-1 +.
Counts when starting treatment:
V.L.:80.200 copies. CD4: 25%=503
Started Sustiva-Truvada 14/August/2006
Last V.L.count (Oct 2013): Undetectable
Last CD4 count (OCT 2013): 52%= 933

Offline mjmel

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Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2007, 01:58:32 PM »
It depends where you are travelling to. I once got stopped in Amsterdam, entering from a non-EU country, with a huge amount of drugs (it was before I was insured there so I brought a few months' supply with me + supplements and vitamins) while my bags were searched. It is not illegal for pozzies to travel anywhere in the EU but I was nervous, when they asked me what it was (consider that it could have been illegal drugs as far as customs were concerned) I looked them in the eye and said "I have a chronic disease". That was enough, the customs guy even apologized.

Since then I have a letter with me from the hospital signed by the doctors that says that I take drugs X, Y, Z permanetly - but doesn't say for what. It says, "for more detials, please contact Dr X". I never had to use it. Of course I would not risk entering the US or China with my drugs, these are countries which ban all HIV entrance (with the exception of HIV+ who go fro treatment or a conference to the US, who can ask for a special waiver; what this means is a big stamp of "HIV" in your passport... thank you but no thank you).
A letter from the doc is good also in case you lose your drugs, have an accident (knock on wood) etc.


 I knew about the denied entry--which I hope will soon change. They "brand" passports? They literally stamp "HIV" in your passport? That is despicable. I assumed a temp/dated document upon entry into the US. I had no idea our government stooped so low.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2007, 02:01:29 PM by mjmel »

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Travelling with medications.
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2007, 09:08:32 PM »
Keep in mind:  retired older people travel ALL the time with shitloads of medications.  Even injectables -- as long as it is all labeled with scripts you have ZERO problem -- it's the law for them to let you though.  There really should no question regarding this, unless it's some country that has HIV-specific controls.  None.

If you are on clinical trial medications you should, however,have a detailed note from your pharmacist, generally with supporting documentation from TSA.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

 


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