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Author Topic: + Traveller  (Read 912 times)

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Offline Mandela.123

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+ Traveller
« on: September 14, 2016, 10:07:55 PM »
Hi Everyone!

Iam currently living and working in cambodia and i have been diagnosed positive for a year now. i am taking art's which prescribed by my doctor GPO-VIR s30 and been for treatment for 4mos. now.

I travel frequently to neighbouring countries and i never had any problem of entering to these countries, however i will travelling in Malaysia by Nov. and read some post that there is a certain restrictions in Malaysia for PLHIV. I am staying in Malaysia for social visit short term only.

Has anyone here had problems in immigration or customs by bringing HIV medicines? or has anyone travelled in malaysia without any problems of entering?

Any advice what should i do? Any advice. Thanks in advance.

Offline terrymoore

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  • Posts: 260
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2016, 12:48:49 PM »
Hi,
Firstly sorry about your status. It is great you are on meds!
Second, i live just next door in Thailand and travel quite often to our neighbouring countries including to MY. I have never had a problem
Third, some of the countries in the region have the "official" policy and the practical policies. FOr example in SG up until recently they were offcialy able to refuse entry to anyone HIV positive. Their policy has recently chnaged.
I am not sure what the official policy is in MY however a few tips and thinsg to think about:
1. I don`t keep my pills in the original bottle. i DO keep a spare prescription/doctor`s letter with me in case i get stopped
2. Prepare your response - whatever you decide will be your response if asked about the meds, make sure you have already decided ahead of time and know how to make your explanation. I have decided that if asked, i will first say they are for a chronic medical condition that i have. If they dig deeper, and keep asking, i will say i have high cholesterol, triglycerides etc etc and not say the "H" word.
If they put me in a real corner and ask "what specifically do these pills treat" i will say "HIV prevention!" or "PeP!".
Even if that entire imaginary hypothetical interrogation occurs, i doubt they wll prevent me from entering. And, the probability of this happening is VERY low.
I think they are more concerned with illicit drugs, etc.
My 2 cents. Good luck!

Offline AJ68

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  • Posts: 9
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 08:16:41 PM »
Just been thru malaysia, indonesia and finally dubai on way to the uk. Unless you are carrying copius quantities of meds in your hand luggae, most customes dont notice.

Cheers

Offline Mandela.123

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  • Posts: 9
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2016, 06:40:58 AM »
Hi,
Firstly sorry about your status. It is great you are on meds!
Second, i live just next door in Thailand and travel quite often to our neighbouring countries including to MY. I have never had a problem
Third, some of the countries in the region have the "official" policy and the practical policies. FOr example in SG up until recently they were offcialy able to refuse entry to anyone HIV positive. Their policy has recently chnaged.
I am not sure what the official policy is in MY however a few tips and thinsg to think about:
1. I don`t keep my pills in the original bottle. i DO keep a spare prescription/doctor`s letter with me in case i get stopped
2. Prepare your response - whatever you decide will be your response if asked about the meds, make sure you have already decided ahead of time and know how to make your explanation. I have decided that if asked, i will first say they are for a chronic medical condition that i have. If they dig deeper, and keep asking, i will say i have high cholesterol, triglycerides etc etc and not say the "H" word.
If they put me in a real corner and ask "what specifically do these pills treat" i will say "HIV prevention!" or "PeP!".
Even if that entire imaginary hypothetical interrogation occurs, i doubt they wll prevent me from entering. And, the probability of this happening is VERY low.
I think they are more concerned with illicit drugs, etc.
My 2 cents. Good luck!


Thanks so much. Such a relief and big help. I have travelled in MY last April but during that Time i was not yet on meds, i just started last May after my MY trip.

Do you think HIV meds in MY is easy access? I mean i am planning to buy the same meds in MY if it is available.

Offline Mandela.123

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  • Posts: 9
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2016, 06:42:18 AM »
Just been thru malaysia, indonesia and finally dubai on way to the uk. Unless you are carrying copius quantities of meds in your hand luggae, most customes dont notice.

Cheers

I will only be bringin atleast enought o cover for my whole trip in MY, ill visit MY for 3 days only.

Offline terrymoore

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  • Posts: 260
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2016, 06:32:38 AM »
Hi!
Quote
Do you think HIV meds in MY is easy access? I mean i am planning to buy the same meds in MY if it is available.

Not sure. I found this thread that deals with MY and what is available. worst case, if you can make it to BKK, you can get good treatment and 6 months worth of meds at the Thai Redcross Anonymous clinic.
Read the thread. I hope it helps!
http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=59268.msg689960#msg689960

Offline Mandela.123

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Re: + Traveller
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2016, 10:06:59 PM »
Hi!
Not sure. I found this thread that deals with MY and what is available. worst case, if you can make it to BKK, you can get good treatment and 6 months worth of meds at the Thai Redcross Anonymous clinic.
Read the thread. I hope it helps!
http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=59268.msg689960#msg689960

My meds came from Thailand GPO-VIR S30, i beileve it is a generic meds for HIV my doctor recommend this first as there is only 2 meds available in Cambodia the other is Atripla which my doctor told me way too expensive than what i have now. So far meds is good i had my CD4 check up last week from 135 now i have 184 still low but i am positive it will get stable in the run of meds.

Offline terrymoore

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  • Posts: 260
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2016, 03:41:14 AM »
that is great news Mandella!
Atripla (or its generic version) is certainly very popular in S.E.Asia and many have had great success with it.
Unfortunately i reacted badly to it and so i changed to Edurant and Truvada (generic versions actually).
In Thailand we have many different options including Atripla. As i mentioned, you can buy 6 months worth of meds each time you go as long as you have a prescription. You can check out the prices here http://www.adamslove.org/en-d.php?id=73 .
Specifically, Atripla (original) costs around USD75$ for a box of 30 pills and TEEVIR (generic version of Atripla) costs USD30$ for a box of 30.
Good luck and hope your numbers soar!

Offline Mandela.123

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  • Posts: 9
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2016, 05:17:26 AM »
that is great news Mandella!
Atripla (or its generic version) is certainly very popular in S.E.Asia and many have had great success with it.
Unfortunately i reacted badly to it and so i changed to Edurant and Truvada (generic versions actually).
In Thailand we have many different options including Atripla. As i mentioned, you can buy 6 months worth of meds each time you go as long as you have a prescription. You can check out the prices here http://www.adamslove.org/en-d.php?id=73 .
Specifically, Atripla (original) costs around USD75$ for a box of 30 pills and TEEVIR (generic version of Atripla) costs USD30$ for a box of 30.
Good luck and hope your numbers soar!


Thanks for the link of available meds in Thailand. I saw my meds there its only 420THB or 12$, here my meds cost 40$ per bottle. I want to go there and buy some meds i will save more money, but will it be a problem in the border if i buy bulk like enough for 6 mos.?

Offline terrymoore

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  • Posts: 260
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2016, 07:06:08 PM »
If you ask your doctor, they usually will give you a letter for travelling, explaining that you take these meds for your condition. Keep that with you wherever you travel.]
As well, if you keep it in the original bottles, there should be no issue. If you get pulled over and they ask, you tell them it is medication for a chronic health issue and show them the doctor`s note.
I know MANY people come to buy their meds in Bangkok from SG and other countries because of the price.
I suggest you send your luggage CHECKED IN though, to avoid the risk of hassle.
Let us know how it goes and good luck!

Offline joemutt

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Re: + Traveller
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2016, 09:18:25 PM »
I went to Kuala Lumpur last month, I carried my medicine in original packaging in my hand luggage and did not carry a copy of a prescription. No issue at all. Be Well.

Offline Mandela.123

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  • Posts: 9
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2016, 11:27:37 PM »
If you ask your doctor, they usually will give you a letter for travelling, explaining that you take these meds for your condition. Keep that with you wherever you travel.]
As well, if you keep it in the original bottles, there should be no issue. If you get pulled over and they ask, you tell them it is medication for a chronic health issue and show them the doctor`s note.
I know MANY people come to buy their meds in Bangkok from SG and other countries because of the price.
I suggest you send your luggage CHECKED IN though, to avoid the risk of hassle.
Let us know how it goes and good luck!

This is so much information from you. Thank you so much. I will do all ur suggestions.

Offline joemutt

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Re: + Traveller
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2016, 12:49:54 AM »
If you ask your doctor, they usually will give you a letter for travelling, explaining that you take these meds for your condition. Keep that with you wherever you travel.]
As well, if you keep it in the original bottles, there should be no issue. If you get pulled over and they ask, you tell them it is medication for a chronic health issue and show them the doctor`s note.
I know MANY people come to buy their meds in Bangkok from SG and other countries because of the price.
I suggest you send your luggage CHECKED IN though, to avoid the risk of hassle.
Let us know how it goes and good luck!

I don't put meds in my checked luggage since the day it didn't arrive and had to wait 3 days for it to be forwarded

Offline terrymoore

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  • Posts: 260
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2016, 11:29:52 AM »
Joemutt, you are right. I left out a small and IMPORTANT detail - i ALWAYS fly with spare pills in my carry-on and my laptop case - usually around 7 days worth.
So, yes, Mandela please keep spares with you in your carry on in case your luggage gets lost.

Offline joemutt

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Re: + Traveller
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2016, 01:21:53 AM »
I definitely would carry reserve pills/ spares in hand luggage in original packaging in order not to invite suspicion.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 01:26:22 AM by joemutt »

Offline Mandela.123

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  • Posts: 9
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2016, 03:08:49 AM »
I definitely would carry reserve pills/ spares in hand luggage in original packaging in order not to invite suspicion.

Hi Joemutt, however if i do carry the original bottles they would know i am Positive because on the bottle of my meds it say ANTIVIRAL.

Offline Poshi90

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  • Posts: 13
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2016, 03:11:06 AM »
Hi everyone,

i am on my meds for a mnth now. I am planning the holidays which would require from me a stop over in Dubai. i am aware that UAE has some restrictions for HIV positive people, but not sure whether it relates also to HIV meds in case of transition.

called Emirates helpdesk in my country but they were not able to answer me, the lady took my conctact details and promised to contact directly with UAE representatives.

i am on Truvada and Rezolsta ( she only said that it is not on restricted list) , I will surely have a letter note from my doctor. However the lady from the helpdesk cnfirmed that in Dubai there will be security check once more for the transition, so I am afraid that they will start some problems .

maybe I am over reacting but I am new and not sure whether I can simply travel by plane or if now i am denied for some destinations ( even for transit).

Any help much apprciated, thanks in advance  ;)

Offline terrymoore

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Re: + Traveller
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2016, 09:41:17 PM »
Hi,
It all depends on what you are afraid of. For me, i fear: 1. that if they find the pills that they will suspect that i am smuggling in some contra-band and all the mess that goes with that and 2. that if they know i am HIV+ that they will give me a hard time and possibly deny entry. The subsequent fall-out of both can affect my lively-hood etc. I have one more added and for me it takes priority over everything - no one besides my spouse knows my status and i want to keep it that way. So, with that in mind....
1. i do NOT keep the pills in original bottles from the moment i get them - even at home.
2. When i travel, i divide the pills up between my pills meant to be taken (X days worth of pills) and the "emergency stash" which i keep in my carry-on (usually 7 days worth).
3. I have a letter form my doc in case i get pulled over.
4. I also have a plan. You have to remember, no matter what the policy is, we are dealing with people and their attitudes. The security officer in front of you is what you need to deal with.  If i ever get pulled over, i know what i will say, calmly, with a smile on my face. For my stash, i keep it in a small tylenol bottle and i have other pills in there too - allergy pills, tylenol, statins, immodium, viagra (hahaha) - so if they ask me, i tell them these are various pills in case i get sick abroad, and various pills related to me health like the statins etc.
I do not believe the authorities will push it. Unfortunately how we look has a lot to do with how they may react. For example, I usually travel for business and look it, and usually have set meetings which i can easily prove if asked - highly unlikely i am smuggling pills or coming as a sex worker. On the other hand, if i come in looking like a vagrant, or looking sketchy, without a plan to my trip, it raises the officers` suspicion and perhaps reduces their tolerance - it is basic psychology.
Also, remember, official requests usually require official responses. What i mean is, if you put in an official request at an embassy and disclose, there is a chance that they will take the official line, and deny you. On the other hand, just walking through without official requests, means you rely on the specific officer in front of you and their discretion.
Remember, normally what they are looking for are security threats and criminal elements (drugs, prostitutes, illegal workers).
In summary, i still travel - OFTEN, WEEKLY - to all the countries mentioned here, and i have never had a problem. Sorry for such a long answer. I hope it helps.

Offline Poshi90

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  • Posts: 13
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2016, 03:55:08 AM »
Hi terrymore,

Thank you for your answer.

1. You say that you do not put it in the original bottle, so in case if you are pulled over by officials how does your letter going to help you ? I mean since there are no names on the Bottles, then how do they believie that it is the same whats written in the letter ?

i have read so far that when travelling by plane we should have pills in the original bottles and letter from the doctor if required.

My concern is that in the country like UEA if they perphaps pull me over and they ask about the pills and somehow figure out that they are antiviral they may start problems. i have read somewhere that they deny entry - but not sure whether it is the true ? As mentioned I am just going to transit and wait  for another flight around 5

I ve also thought about getting them into different packages but I am afraid that in case of being pulled over if thy somehow figure out that pills are not what is written on the label and on the perscription then I could have really serious problems.

I am not afraid about other european countires etc. , but i am about countires such UEA.




Have you ever been asked about your pills , i mean has any official asked on security check when found in your bag or they do not care at all about pills in your bag ?

I am going to travel with my family, they do not know and I would like to avoid akward situation at the airport.

Thanks in advance.

« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 03:59:59 AM by Poshi90 »

Offline joemutt

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Re: + Traveller
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2016, 06:43:53 AM »
Hi Joemutt, however if i do carry the original bottles they would know i am Positive because on the bottle of my meds it say ANTIVIRAL.
I understood that. I traveled to Malaysia with my medication in original packaging in my hand luggage and without a doctors letter prescription quite often without being checked or questioned. This over the last 19 years. I only want to give feedback about my own experience. I'd rather not travel with loose pills in an effort to circumvent customs/ immigration because that could backfire in many ways (delays/ suspicion of illicit drugs)
In the end it's an individual decision and I respect that.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 06:52:10 AM by joemutt »

Offline Poshi90

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Re: + Traveller
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2016, 08:00:17 AM »
Hi Joemutt,

I have similiar approach and would like to play fair with them as I am afraid that trying to cicrumvent customs may casue lot of harm.

May I ask how many bottles do you carry in your hand luggage ? i have two bottles. I recall that when I flew with some nutritions then no one really cared and no one ever asked about what pills do I carry, but it was never in the bottle.

i am concern that two bottles of pills may inetrest them, or I might be wrong , have some one ever been asked about the bottles of pills in hand luggage ?

Offline terrymoore

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  • Posts: 260
Re: + Traveller
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2016, 01:15:50 AM »
Hi Poshi90

Firstly, let me say that i agree with Joemutt - this is a very personal decision based on each individuals` comfort in dealing with situations.
Quote
You say that you do not put it in the original bottle, so in case if you are pulled over by officials how does your letter going to help you ? I mean since there are no names on the Bottles, then how do they believie that it is the same whats written in the letter ?

i have read so far that when travelling by plane we should have pills in the original bottles and letter from the doctor if required.

My concern is that in the country like UEA if they perphaps pull me over and they ask about the pills and somehow figure out that they are antiviral they may start problems. i have read somewhere that they deny entry - but not sure whether it is the true ? As mentioned I am just going to transit and wait  for another flight around 5

I ve also thought about getting them into different packages but I am afraid that in case of being pulled over if thy somehow figure out that pills are not what is written on the label and on the perscription then I could have really serious problems.

I am not afraid about other european countires etc. , but i am about countires such UEA.




Have you ever been asked about your pills , i mean has any official asked on security check when found in your bag or they do not care at all about pills in your bag ?

I am going to travel with my family, they do not know and I would like to avoid akward situation at the airport.

For me, i fee very comfortable with the scenarios i have described earlier. Also, i would not travel with all my pills in my hand luggage - i would travel with 1-2 week stash in my hand luggage and the rest (the 2 bottles) in my checked-in luggage. Especially if i was flying to a place where i know i can get the pills in an emergency (Western EU). There are definitely a few risks, but i am comfortable taking those risks (god knows i have taken much worse risks - some got me a ticket to this forum! hahaha).

Quote
so in case if you are pulled over by officials how does your letter going to help you ?
Well, most of the pills are easily identifiable today on the net. From what i understand, they have pictures of common/known medications and illicit drugs. As i mentioned, i keep other pills with me as well - antihistamines, diarrhea pills, Tylenol, a few statins and even Viagra all in a small travelling pill bottle. So, if they ask me, i will explain that i travel and have these pills  - some i take daily for my chronic condition, and some in case i get sick. If they "dig" , i will pull out the letter. If they keep "digging", i will invite them to search the engraved letters on the pills and see what comes up. I will be very polite, smile, and confident. When push comes to shove, i haven`t broken any laws so i have nothing to worry about really.

Quote
Have you ever been asked about your pills, i mean has any official asked on security check when found in your bag or they do not care at all about pills in your bag ?

I used to carry my daily dose in a small pill box that fit into that small almost useless pocket on the right that all my jeans seem to have. Once, while going through the metal detector, i beeped and the guy did a quick body search and noticed the box. I pulled it out, said it was "just pills" and he said "ok" and that was that. Besides that, NO - i have never been asked.

Quote
I am going to travel with my family, they do not know and I would like to avoid akward situation at the airport.
Yes i can understand the anxiety. Is there any way that you can get away and meet them at the gate after security? Maybe head to the toilet at the last minute and tell them you will see them inside. That way if something does occur, they are not witness to your explanations.

In summary, it is not an easy thing. This is one of those burdens we all have to deal with. My personal opinion is that i doubt you will face any problems, especially since you are in transit.



Offline terrymoore

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Re: + Traveller
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2016, 01:21:37 AM »
One more point - the reason i do not use original bottles is because of my fear that someone will find them, search them and discover my status. That is why i do not use original bottles. I believe the chances of someone finding the bottles and discovering my status is more likely to happen than the chances of being pulled over and scrutinised while travelling, if i use original bottles. Having said that, if i did not carry this secret, and was open about my status, or if the weight of being discovered was not so heavy, i would travel with the original bottles of course, just as Joemutt suggested.

Offline joemutt

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Re: + Traveller
« Reply #23 on: Yesterday at 03:05:03 AM »
Hi Joemutt,

I have similiar approach and would like to play fair with them as I am afraid that trying to cicrumvent customs may casue lot of harm.

May I ask how many bottles do you carry in your hand luggage ? i have two bottles. I recall that when I flew with some nutritions then no one really cared and no one ever asked about what pills do I carry, but it was never in the bottle.

i am concern that two bottles of pills may inetrest them, or I might be wrong , have some one ever been asked about the bottles of pills in hand luggage ?
Two bottles.
I was only asked once in LA when the ban was still on, I said ' this is my prescription medication ' there were no further questions.

Online zach

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Re: + Traveller
« Reply #24 on: Yesterday at 05:29:30 AM »
this question comes up regularly, about every destination and airport/border crossing/ cruise port. etc on earth

as often as this is asked i think it's telling that of all our international members, in all the travels we've done, there has never been a report from anyone, anywhere, of having a problem traveling with meds

no one has been detained, arrested, or interrogated

no one has had their meds seized

and really, what is going unspoken in most of these questions... what most of the anxiety is about

no one has had to openly announce in a security screening "I am HIV+ and these are my medications" to the shock and horror of other travelers/family that are nearby


Offline terrymoore

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Re: + Traveller
« Reply #25 on: Yesterday at 10:11:05 PM »
Hurray Zach! Well said!!

 


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