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Author Topic: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????  (Read 3417 times)

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Offline panda

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Top urgent ,
Me and my husband are going for a trip of 2 weeks to usa , i read somewhere that hiv+ are not allowed to enter into the usa, is that correct? feels like I am in a bad movie... how could it be? am I suppose to declare i am hiv once enter into tthe usa? i will take the drugs with me , i will store them in vitamins packages , do u think it will work? i have tickets and traveling visa , I am so scare thy wont let me in.

Offline Cliff

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2008, 06:49:45 AM »
Yes, there is an official ban.  But people with HIV travel to the US all the time.  I'm not sure I would recommend putting them in vitamin bottles.  Just keep them in they normal packaging and maybe get a note from your doctor that they are required meds (they need not state your diagnosis).

Don't declare your status! Just fill out the immigration forms like everyone else and enjoy your stay in America!!!

Don't be scared.  If you act suspicious, they think something is up (like you are smuggling illegal drugs) and you may run the risk of being searched.

Cliff

Offline vokz

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2008, 07:12:16 AM »
Pretty much what Cliff says.

Carry the drugs in your hand luggage and don’t try to hide them.

Don’t use vitamin bottles. If they catch you (they probably wont), then the fact that you are trying to pass your meds off as vitamins will probably work against you.

If you are going to put your meds in another container, make it a neutral container .. or, better still, get your pharmacist to correctly label some regular pill-bottles and put them in those.

US customs regulations do require you to carry a letter from your doctor to state your drugs are prescribed for a personal medical condition (just make sure the letter doesn’t mention what the condition is).

Have a well-rehearsed explanation for why you need the drugs (so that you can answer any questions without hesitation).

Offline mjmel

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2008, 07:53:04 AM »
Just to comment that vokz and Cliff have offered excellent advice. Be relaxed and don't do the anxiety thing.
I do agree that people do it all the time. People who travel to the states to visit relatives or just do a vacation.
If it were me, I'd just bring my pills in a my compartment pill box (neutral container) accompanied with a note from the doc that I am on medication for a medical condition. You certainly aren't trying to smuggle unlawful drugs into the country with so few and they see those pill containers all the time. Do you realize how many people go through customs that are on one medication or another? Heart conditions...liver conditions....high blood pressure........etc.

Mike M

Offline panda

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2008, 09:23:18 AM »
Tell me , even if I had heartproblems or high blood pressure that I need to take drugs for , so even then I had to take a letter form my dr. stating the drugs I am on medication for medical condition and the drugs are for 2 weeks 's traveling or is it just required for hiv?
What if i do takes vitamins , do i also have to get a letter form the dr? or what if I take pills for headache with me? so I am taking 3 meds , I thought 1 i will contain into vitamic c, the 2nd on a headace and the 3rd on the vitamin complex b i take regulary and put all these in the bath bag , u know where u put shampoo , thooth brush and so.. don't you think its better? i mean , OR What if i put my drugs not on vitamins package but on neutral package and still put all into this bath bag , and only if they will ask me i will give them the letter that i am under medical condition and have to take these drugs , i don't know what to think already , its crazy, :o its the first time i am going to usa , what is this immigration form , i have no plans to do immigration just 2 fucking weeks(sorry) so should i still fill this form ?

Offline joemutt

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2008, 09:47:19 AM »
Since officially there's a ban, so there is a risk.
Everybody has to fill out an immigration form.
I have travelled to LA and NY a few times, no hassle what so ever.
But I wouldn't hide your drugs as vitamins, that's like an informed effort to
break the law.

Offline keyite

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2008, 10:08:33 AM »
Have a well-rehearsed explanation for why you need the drugs (so that you can answer any questions without hesitation).

Do you mean a fictional condition other than HIV?

Offline vokz

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2008, 10:14:06 AM »
You need a letter that covers any and all prescription medication that you need to travel with. You should really have that letter for clearing customs in ANY country, not just the USA .. and, more recently, some airlines have started to demand that too if you are carrying medications in your hand luggage.

Vitamins and headache tablets aren’t generally prescription medications, so you don’t need a letter for them.

The idea is to keep everything as close to the truth as possible and not arouse suspicion. Trying to hide your medications - or disguise them as something that they aren’t - will just make people even more suspicious and ask you even more questions.

You may not be an immigrant, but you still have to pass through immigration / passport control. Everyone entering the USA as a tourist under the visa waiver scheme has to complete a green I94-W form (they will normally give it to you to fill in during the flight). Again, there is nothing unusual about that and it is a perfectly normal part of international travel (and, trust me, nowhere near as rigorous as entering Israel).

One of the questions on that form is:

“Are you afflicted with a communicable disease of public health significance?”

Under US law, HIV is a communicable disease that (along with a being a terrorist, a communist or a convict) makes you ineligible to enter the USA without a visa .. so you have to be sure to answer that question “NO” (but know that in doing so you are making a fraudulent statement).

Offline vokz

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2008, 10:26:18 AM »
Do you mean a fictional condition other than HIV?

That is entirely up to you.

If you say that they are for HIV, then you make yourself ineligible for entry.

It really depends how far you want to push your luck .. but either way, just decide in advance what you are going to say if challenged.

If you hesitate before saying that they are for HIV, then you are in effect admitting that you know that being HIV-positive makes you ineligible and that you have already committed a fraud on your immigration forms.

If you answer confidently that they are for HIV, then you can probably convince them that you didn’t know that you were ineligible for entry, that you just committed a fraud and that you are just a stupid foreigner. In those circumstances they have been known to let people through.

Personally, if I didn't already have a visa (which I do), I would lie .. confidently .. or tell part of the truth and say that I had a blood disorder.  Customs are far more interested in catching drug mules than they are people living with HIV, so they wont probe if you don't give them reason to.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 10:56:40 AM by vokz »

Offline panda

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2008, 11:44:24 AM »
thanks all of you for your reply !! :-* I have a visa already , there was this question and I replied NO - I HAVE NO IDEA AIDS IS CONSIDER AS A PUBLIC DISEASE.
ok, now i am more confused  ??? ...
Lets try this one, if I take my pills in  a nuatral box , u know there are these boxed with cells for every day splitted to morning and evening , and i Put it with my hand bag and I also take a letter frm my dr. stating "Mrs. _____ carring specific prescribed  medication for a personal mediacal condition for 14 days  round trip " - is it ok ? not mention the name of the drugs and not mention the name of the "personal condition". Also , is the fact I am coming with my husband (he is negative and taking no drugs) wont it make easier FoR me? god, i just want to clean my head for 14 days and come back to continue my routine life,
Is there any chance the us customs will ask me "this personal medical condition is hiv" ??
Also , do I have to declare on the form I get on the plane that i take medication or only of the customs asking me? on the customs ,is it 100% they will ask me if I am on medication or only if they ask me I will tell them or should i initiate it  and tell them" i have a personal medical condition and i took drugs with me..."
SORRY FOR ALL THESE QUESTIONS ITS JUST THAT i HAVE NEVER BEEN
IN THE USA BEFORE AND I WANT TO BE SURE THERE WILL BE NO PROBLEMS FOR ME.

Offline vokz

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2008, 11:45:29 AM »
i have tickets and traveling visa

I only just noticed that bit and I forgot that Israel isn’t included in the visa waiver scheme  :-[

If you already have a visa, then it all depends on whether or not you declared your HIV status when applying for the visa.

If you declared that you are HIV-positive, then ignore everything on this thread. You are ‘legal’ and don’t need to hide anything.

If you didn’t declare that you are HIV-positive, then the advice still stands (and you will already have made potentially fraudulent statements as part of your visa application).

My letter simply states:

Quote
Mr XXXXXXXXX is carrying personal medication (Efavirenz & Truvada) for a serious chronic condition.

These medications need to be taken to an exact schedule and it is important that he is not separated from them at any time.

Don’t declare anything, unless asked. Don’t show the letter to anyone, unless asked. Chances are you wont be asked any questions about your health and that your bags will not even be searched.

Just try to relax. Thousands of people are travelling around the world with medications every single day. It is nothing unusual and HIV really isn’t going to be the first thing that any official thinks of.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 12:01:40 PM by vokz »

Offline Morton Salt

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2008, 12:56:46 PM »
Good advice here however, It's a crap shoot.  Good luck to you....

~Morton Salt
"im king of the salts"

Offline panda

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2008, 02:19:23 PM »
But I didn't know , honestly, i didn't know this question on the visa application is refers to hiv, and even if i did, god , not sure i would have answered yes, anyway :
1.Must the Dr. specify the drugs I am talking ? cause maybe in the customs there is a list of the drugs for hiv carrier and they will imm recognize it ? I take kaletra, viread and videx, must he specifiy this?
2.Is it ok I put the drugs in the nuetral boxes and not in there original package?
3.Is it ok I will not put the meds in my handbag but in the other bag along with the shampoo and everything so the chance they'll catch it is less? i mean i didn't plan to take it in my handbag in any case and it's not like i'm hidding it in vitamins package, only for my convinience puting in the other bag .
4.this letter i'll take with me?  i will not show it to anyone ONLY if they will find the medication or ask me if i have any deasise ??

Offline vokz

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2008, 02:31:53 PM »
1 Yes, the letter must specify which drugs.

2 Neutral containers are OK provided you have the letter too. Pill organisers/dispensers are perfect.

3 If you are travelling, you should always carry your medication in your hand baggage (to protect against the possibility of your bags getting delayed / lost).

4 Only show the letter if you are challenged about your medicines.

Offline panda

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2008, 02:41:35 PM »
thank you so much  :-* about # 3, well , what i meant is that you are alowd to take with you to the plane 1 handbag ,and another bag not too big , right? so just for convinience reasons , i though in my handbag i take my visa , digital camer , purse.. you know , cause the pills orgenizer takes place , and on the other bag i will take with m also to the plane and put hot clothes for the 1st day with thooth brush and shmpoo i will also put the drugs i the orgenizer , its not looks like i am trying to hide it right? the letter will be in my handbag at my purse so no one can see it unless asking me to show it.

Another question , if they do find the drugs... i shown them the letter stating its for chronical disease..so can they ask me straight to my face if i have aids? what about provacy law? or will they just ask what are the meds for and i tell them personal medical condition ?

Offline vokz

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2008, 02:54:13 PM »
Oh I see – my mistake - the terms ‘handbag’ and ‘hand baggage’ are getting confused. Yes, that will be fine ;)

HIV doctors and pharmacists usually take great pleasure in helping anyone with HIV to circumvent US travel restrictions; so don’t worry that you will have a problem getting the letter.

There are no privacy laws. Well there are .. but you exercise your right to privacy and they are likely to exercise their right to refuse you entry.

As I said before, I can’t tell you what to say the drugs are for if you are challenged. You can tell the truth (and risk being denied entry because you are HIV-positive), you can tell a partial truth (you have a blood disorder) or you can lie (you have a heart / liver / kidney condition). That bit is up to you.

Have a good trip.

Offline mjmel

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2008, 03:35:36 PM »
Your doctor writes, " Mr X is under my care and is perscribed the following medication for complications of an ongoing illness."
That's enough. As long as it's signed by licensed physician on proper letterhead than it's enough. I can't see them interrogating you.........unless you act all nervous and beads of sweat are running down your face.
Don't use words like "Chronic Illness" as they are red flags for further questions. understand now? those words are not a good choice.
I think you are catching on, though.

Good luck,
Mike

Offline panda

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2008, 04:07:20 PM »
Ok but also ongoing illnes doesn't sound that good.. did you get into the usa with this letter and didn't do any problems?. how about:
 Mrs X is under my care and is perscribed the following medication(kaletra , videx and viread) for a personal medical condition "
Is it ok if  my dr. will combine the sentence i am coming only for 14 days round's trip???

Offline vokz

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2008, 04:08:04 PM »
“Chronic” is a standard innocuous term for such letters and simply implies that a condition is long-lasting or recurrent. It covers everything from simple pain management, acne and psoriasis, through arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure to serious heart disease and HIV.

Offline panda

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2008, 04:11:44 PM »
did you pass the border with this letter stating chronic condition without declaring hiv? isn't "personla medical condition" good enouhg?

Offline fearless

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2008, 10:34:44 PM »
My doctor doesn't state the names of the medications I have to take, just that I have a chronic condition requiring me to take medication. I have heard though that they prefer if the medications are named.

As for a story, I always thought that "I have a blood condition", or "that's my heart medication" (as in HAART) were the two I could say most confidently. Strictly speaking neither is a lie. Just be confident and calm.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline md

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2008, 10:51:38 PM »
One of the questions on that form is:

“Are you afflicted with a communicable disease of public health significance?”

Under US law, HIV is a communicable disease that (along with a being a terrorist, a communist or a convict) makes you ineligible to enter the USA without a visa .. so you have to be sure to answer that question “NO” (but know that in doing so you are making a fraudulent statement).


I think that one can quite easily rationalize that "NO" answer, given a reasonable interpretation (ie not the one that the US government uses) of what "of public health significance" means in the limited context of your 2 week visit to the US - assuming that you aren't planning on having unprotected sex with anyone during your visit, the fact that you are HIV+ has essentially no public health significance.

With this rationalization in your mind you should find it easier to answer the question appropriately without feeling that you are lying.

On a purely practical note, I have travelled to and from the US over 50 times in the last 20 years and have never been asked anything but the most cursory of questions on arrival in the US, and have never had my luggage examined by US customs so the chance that anything like that will happen to you is very small. The one thing that will increase your chance of being stopped and questioned and/or searched is if you appear to be nervous or anxious, so just try to *relax* and everything will be fine!

Offline panda

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Re: trip to usa for 2 weeks as hiv carrierr - will they let me in ???????
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2008, 01:46:37 AM »
Thank you all so much - u are amazing , u managed to calm me down as i was so scared... i am coming with my husband and we just want to have some good time, i am plannig also to cross the border to tj to clinica estetica and fix a little bit my buttocks..
so if i take the pills in a pills orginaizer in my hand baggage , they wont start searching right? and in the worst cause if they will ask me what are these pills for i'll say blood condition which is true :-) and also its correct that when i answered this question it didn't even crossed my mind they refer to hiv cause on my mind, with cd4+800 and vl undetactable and having no intention to have sex with anyone else except of my husband how can i be a danger to anyone?? no one can argue with that right?
Ok, now i will wait untill next week for my flight, i will update you all, thank you so much for your support , u ara amazing !!!

 


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