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Medication question from Inbound traveller to US

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Hi All,
I am an Australian living and working in Belgium, but I have just accepted a new contract which will require me to travel to Chicago for at least a week a month over the next 6 months. Whenever I have visited the US previously, I have always arranged to collect my meds there, either by mailing ahead to a charity organization or by contact with a sympathetic GP. I have asked some friends in the US if they have any contacts in Chicago who may be able to put me in touch with support groups there.

Some have suggested that I just pack my meds and not worry about customs, however I am reluctant to do this as I have had a close friend deported on arrival after meds were found in his luggage. Given the current political climate and increased airport security, I would be surprised if attitudes towards positive tourists have been relaxed very much! And the fact that I will be returning for five or six months makes me a likely target for customs inspection.

So if anyone has any advice on where or how I can obtain meds on arrival, it would be greatly appreciated. I am taking Norvir, Invirase, Viread and Emtriva.

Thanks for your time.


Carry a prescription from your Dr. saying you are under treatment and need those meds.


Try contacting one of these places:

Joe K:

Get your meds once you get here, because if you are not a citizen and they catch you with HIV drugs, back home you go, work contract or not.  It is not worth the risk to try and take them thru customs.

I guess the question is do you have private health insurance that will cover the cost of the meds?  It's easy to find a doctor that will prescribe meds for you, but the concern would be how do you pay for them.  Unless you are a US resident/citizen and are elgible for aid from the various governmental programs, I wonder how likely you are going to be able to find an organization that will pay for your meds.

Whether you ship them ahead of time or take them with you, your meds will go through customs, (people usually don't realize that customs checks packages as they enter the country).

My personal opinion is odds are you are much better with just taking your meds with you (carry-on) than shipping them ahead of you or trying to locate them (and pay for them) once you get to the States.  But if you're not willing (or able) to take that risk (understandable, given your work situation), then getting your health insurance to pay for yours meds in advance is probably the best way to go.


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