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Author Topic: What would you do?  (Read 2325 times)

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Offline Esquare

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  • Posts: 237
What would you do?
« on: October 15, 2008, 03:10:08 AM »
I am in good health and my virus is undectable since starting therapy a few years ago now (can't believe its been that long).  For work, I have a trip planned for South Korea soon.  I am starting to get cold feet due to the travel entry ban for HIV positive people.

Their law is that no mandatory testing is required unless you stay more than 3 months or are in the entertainment industry.  You will not have to show proof of a negative test upon entry, BUT if it becomes known that you are HIV positive while there you can be sent home.

I will be there for 3 days and have a business partner (who has absolutely no idea of my status) traveling with me.

I am on meds, Atripla, and they are working well.  I have never missed a pill and don't want to.

Is the customs operation in Korea going to be hit and miss on whether or not they go through my pills in my carry on or will they just check through everyone's? I have traveled all over Europe many times since being on meds and never had my bags checked other than sending it through to be scanned like everyone else.  I just wonder if all will go well this time there.  I guess I will also have to lie if asked about my status on a customs card.

Fortunately, I am the boss and could put a halt to this trip but we need it pretty bad for business purposes and I have put it off for a while.

What would you do?  I am starting to lean toward cancelling because I'm scared of an embarrasing incident and being outed to my business partner.  Man, this sucks.

Online mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: What would you do?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2008, 06:39:29 AM »
A few suggestions to you that my doc gave to me for travelling:

1) Its not really lying if they ask if you have a communicable disease or contagious disease - since you are nontransmissable.  If they ask if you have AIDS and you dont, its not lying. Up to you if you feel like lying about an "HIV+" specific question. 

Can't you put a few Atripla pills into a different, innocuous pill bottle - such as multivitamens. Doubt they would search that closely and doubt they would have a Physicians Desk Reference handy to verify what pills you are carrying. Atripla just has a number on it? 123....

Geez, what a pain in the a......  Hope you find a solution and go forward with pride and confidence and find smooth sailing.   Ask your doc for advice by the way.



« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 06:46:25 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline RapidRod

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Re: What would you do?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2008, 07:21:00 AM »
mecch, what do you mean that he's nontransmissble? Just because you are undetectable doesn't mean you cannot transmit HIV.

Online mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: What would you do?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2008, 07:57:21 AM »
Rapid,  Not sure about the laws in different countries...  Swiss law would consider him nontransmissable in a legal context...   Your point is true, as well, in theory. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Lisa

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Re: What would you do?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2008, 09:02:08 AM »
I understand that you are a bit uncomfortable about this trip, but I still think you should go. put your meds in another bottle if you wish, but I wouldn't worry about being thrown out of thwe country while there for a three day business trip. There is a great deal of international business that travels through the airport, and I'm certain that they won't have time to ferret out whether your Tylenol are really Tylenol or not. Don't let fear or paranoia dictate your life. You'll be just fine.
Now, go pack! ;)
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.

Offline woodshere

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  • ain't no shame in my game
Re: What would you do?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2008, 09:34:24 AM »
Ditto what Lisa said.
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline komnaes

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Re: What would you do?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2008, 09:43:20 AM »
Rapid,  Not sure about the laws in different countries...  Swiss law would consider him nontransmissable in a legal context...   Your point is true, as well, in theory. 

Can we have a quote here? Knowing that Switzerland has recently successfully prosecuted a man who was HIV positive but not knowing it (i.e. not tested) for passing the virus to another through unprotected sex, I have some doubts about this assertion.
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline komnaes

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Re: What would you do?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2008, 09:54:46 AM »
Back to Esquare's question -

I am here long enough to see this question appears several times - it's hard for us to give suggestions as if we just say, go ahead, it's ok, we're essentially advising to commit very possibly a crime. But the fact is many HIV + people travel internationally into countries that explicitly forbid us from getting in. US is still one of those countries, and the same with many Asian countries.

Most people I know just don't think about it - in my experiences I don't even remember the last time I got checked thoroughly in an international airport (many times though while getting on US domestic flights). I assume that you do/did travel a bit for work - the usual things to do to avoid being checked (not that we have anything to hide, just don't want the troubles) is to look natural, travel light and dress well. Even if it may not be your style try to make sure you're wearing a business shirt, etc. Make sure you don't bring anything else that may alert officers to want to search you for other reasons.

You should just weight your situations accordingly. All the best, Shaun
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline Moffie65

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  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: What would you do?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2008, 10:39:37 AM »
I would like to give some advise here, even though I don't travel to the orient, or anywhere else for that matter. 

It has been my experience with HIV in the last 25 years, that many times we are forced to cross the "legal" lines of reason and ignorance.  How or what we do to accomplish this is our decision and ours alone.  I personally have crossed international boundries carrying canabis, and also HIV meds, but have never once been stopped or challenged for doing so.  I will leave it up to you as to how you are either going to do such a thing, or to stand up to the rules, either way, it takes a bit of balls for one to do so.

I think one thing that has helped me incredibly, is that long ago, I accepted the fact that I do and will forever, be the carrier of a bug that is now part of my body.  The real important part of that acceptance is that it is now a part of me, but doesn't, and will never rule the way I relate to the world as a whole.  I am still who I am, and that fact that the world has responded illogically to a virus that on one hand is virulent; still on the other hand, very hard to transmit.  I know myself, and I know that I am above all, a responsible citizen and would never pass this bug on to anyone.  Simply because I like to sleep at night.

How does this relate to travel to South Korea?  Basicly it has nothing to do with it, yet it has everythiing to do with it.  Essentially if you decide to choose to make this trip to help the business that you have dedicated your life to; that is probably a fine and honorable thing to do.  If you question it in any way, it tells me you are still uneasy about your position as a viral host.  Please think about the way you think about HIV, because the nervousness you show when going through customs, will show to someone who is observant enough to see that nervousness.  What I am saying is, we must all deal with our status and place it squarely where it belongs, then we are cleared up to act on our lives with little regard to our daily challenges, because in the end, your business is your main challenge and the fact that you are a viral host is totally inconsequential to anyone but you.  Please don't give anyone the gratification of fucking with anything that is yours and yours alone, and in this case, the virus is yours and yours alone.  Nobody else needs to know.

This month it is a trip to South Korea, in 20 years it might be a meeting with a corporation that is proposing a total buy out of your business.  Neither is in anyway connected to the fact that you are a viral host. 

In my case, the bank that financed my Kenworth, never asked if I was a viral host, and I didn't volunteer the information.  I screwed up the trucking business on my own.  When I bought an apartment house in New Mexico, my tenants never asked if I was a viral host, and I didn't volunteer the information.  I did however, do fairly well with that business.

I hope this isn't so obtuse that you can't see my point.  I tend to get that way sometimes.

Edited because he said South Korea, and I read Hong Kong.  And, I actually know the difference, but HIV causes screw ups sometimes.  :)
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 10:46:56 AM by Moffie65 »
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline komnaes

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,893
Re: What would you do?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2008, 10:44:08 AM »
Tim dear, the guy is planning to travel to South Korea, not Hong Kong.. ;)

We don't have that travel restriction here by the way, China does.. it's still one-country-two-systems here.
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline Moffie65

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  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: What would you do?
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2008, 10:49:15 AM »
just caught it Shaun, thanks. 
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline Esquare

  • Member
  • Posts: 237
Re: What would you do?
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2008, 11:56:30 AM »
The comments have been very helpful.  My thinking on the trip has improved. 

On the way I dress.  Yes, I typically where a dress shirt and even where a sports coat so I should be fine there.  Usually they ask me in Europe how long I will be there and if it is for business or pleasure.  In this case I can quite easily tell them what I am doing is meeting with representatives of one of their largest manufacturing companies.

Based on what Moffie said about crossing the legal lines of reason and ignorance, I couldn't agree more.  Recently, I sucked it up and lied when filling out a form at my local dentist office.  I had no choice since a guy that works for me, worked a few years at each dentist office in my small town in Georgia.  His network is good enough that he would have found out.  It isn't illegal for me to do that though and they do use universal treatment.  I am the type of person that hates to tell even a white lie but I have come to accept these necessary types of situations of being a viral host.

The silver lining here to me is that I better do this why I am just on Atripla.  Later on I will likely be carrying multiple pills for HIV which will be more easy to pick up on.

I am likely going to put my Atripla pills in my high blood pressure pill bottle.  I'll carry my Atripla bottle on the first leg of this trip, which is to HIV friendly countries.  Once I am done there, I will trash the bottle at my hotel before heading to Korea.  Next, I will put the few remaining pills in my HBP pill bottle and be done with it.  If they start going through that bottle and asking why they are different I am fucked anyway so at that point I really am not going to care.  It won't matter if I have the prescription or not, since by law they must deport me if they figure out what it is.  If they ask why they are different I will say that the HBP dosage is about to change and I am to take the others once that happened or some other horse shit.  Heck, I may just put the HBP pills in another bottle inside my suit case.  I could lose those and just do some extra exercising if I had do.  This is starting to sound simpler.  Sound like a plan?







Offline joemutt

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Re: What would you do?
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2008, 12:08:18 PM »
You go. I would. I also teraveled tthrough a few of the 'problematic' countries but I was ok.
Once they checked (LAX) and the customs said "its just something you gotta take every day, right?"
I could have kissed that guy.  ;)

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: What would you do?
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2008, 01:15:57 PM »
I am likely going to put my Atripla pills in my high blood pressure pill bottle.  I'll carry my Atripla bottle on the first leg of this trip, which is to HIV friendly countries.  Once I am done there, I will trash the bottle at my hotel before heading to Korea.  Next, I will put the few remaining pills in my HBP pill bottle and be done with it.  If they start going through that bottle and asking why they are different I am fucked anyway so at that point I really am not going to care.  It won't matter if I have the prescription or not, since by law they must deport me if they figure out what it is.  If they ask why they are different I will say that the HBP dosage is about to change and I am to take the others once that happened or some other horse shit.  Heck, I may just put the HBP pills in another bottle inside my suit case.  I could lose those and just do some extra exercising if I had do.  This is starting to sound simpler.  Sound like a plan?

Sounds good, but if you take a daily multivitamin (and that is one of the few supplements we can all agree on) throw a few of them in there too.  If they ask, just say you threw all your daily medicines into one bottle to save room packing.  When you think about it, there's a lot of people who take a host of pills and supplements each day -- there's no way that the customs guys are going to be able to pick out a bunch of unlabeled HIV pills from others in a routine border check.  Unless you are feeling/acting guilty it's very unlikely anything is going to be questioned.

Btw I travel internationally (although never to Korea) and usually consolidate pills to save space in packing -- never had a problem.  Do wear a suit or sports jacket -- after all it's the male version of the purse!  :)
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline Esquare

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Re: What would you do?
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2008, 01:29:32 PM »
Sounds good, but if you take a daily multivitamin (and that is one of the few supplements we can all agree on) throw a few of them in there too.  If they ask, just say you threw all your daily medicines into one bottle to save room packing.  When you think about it, there's a lot of people who take a host of pills and supplements each day -- there's no way that the customs guys are going to be able to pick out a bunch of unlabeled HIV pills from others in a routine border check.  Unless you are feeling/acting guilty it's very unlikely anything is going to be questioned.

Btw I travel internationally (although never to Korea) and usually consolidate pills to save space in packing -- never had a problem.  Do wear a suit or sports jacket -- after all it's the male version of the purse!  :)

I like the idea of mixing in some multivitamins.  The good thing about traveling that far is I'll likely be too tired to be nervous.  I can usually kept calm in the worst of situations so I think I'll ace that part of it.

My wife just called and asked what I was going to do and I told her that I had some very good comments on here that have made me rethink what I was doing in a different context.  She was worried of me getting outed in front of this particular person since he is a blabber mouth but also feels more at ease for me now.

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: What would you do?
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2008, 08:25:41 PM »
I understand that you are a bit uncomfortable about this trip, but I still think you should go. put your meds in another bottle if you wish, but I wouldn't worry about being thrown out of thwe country while there for a three day business trip. There is a great deal of international business that travels through the airport, and I'm certain that they won't have time to ferret out whether your Tylenol are really Tylenol or not. Don't let fear or paranoia dictate your life. You'll be just fine.
Now, go pack! ;)

Some of our Flight Attendent Forum Members have talked about using a multi-vitamin bottle for out of country flights and have not had a problem.  I had a job interview with an Import/Export firm in L.A., shortly after going on meds.  I was supposed to be in the L.A. office for 6 months and be in Guam for the other 6 months.  Silly me, I asked the CEO about getting HIV meds in Guam, they found another applicant.   ;D  Have the best day
Michael

Offline Esquare

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Re: What would you do?
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2008, 02:27:44 AM »
Update!

I just returned from South Korea a few days ago and everything was cool.  Going through customs/immigration was easier than the US.  I wore business attire but it didn't appear to matter much as most Americans were just waived on through.  The trip was great for business so I am really happy that I went.  Thanks to everyone for talking me through this tough decision for me.

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: What would you do?
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2008, 08:52:05 AM »
I had a job interview with an Import/Export firm in L.A., shortly after going on meds.  I was supposed to be in the L.A. office for 6 months and be in Guam for the other 6 months.  Silly me, I asked the CEO about getting HIV meds in Guam, they found another applicant.   ;D  Have the best day
Michael

Isn't it the constitutional right of any US citizen to freely travel into any of the US continental states, and also into any of it's overseas territories and possesions ?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 08:58:35 AM by Grasshopper »

Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: What would you do?
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2008, 04:23:31 PM »
you are kind of playing with fire.  there maybe be problems ahead.  it may not be the answer you want but tell your business partner and see what happens. 
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 04:26:59 PM by red_Dragon888 »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

“Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything o

 


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