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Author Topic: Canadian needs to travel to the US - questions  (Read 1640 times)

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Offline 32guyMtl

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Canadian needs to travel to the US - questions
« on: July 02, 2009, 05:28:06 PM »
Hi..

I am Canadian and need to go to the US in about 3 weeks for 4 days.

I have just started treatment about a month ago on Atripla. I'm going with family and if I'm denied at the border it will be an explosion I'm sure.

Do the US border guards have medical data, or is it only if they find the meds in your luggage?  I'm so nervous today :(

thanks
Jase
masc fit guy with the best cat in the world

Oct 2009: CD4: 700  VL: 90
Aug 2009:  CD4: 600   VL: 215
June 25 2009: incredible energy returns
June 18 2009: begin Atripla
June 16 2009:  CD4: 350 / VL 500 000

Offline elf

  • Member
  • Posts: 607
Re: Canadian needs to travel to the US - questions
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2009, 11:35:29 PM »
I don't really know. Let's wait for someone who knows how it goes...
From what I've heard: you are more unlikely to be 'screened'' thoroughly if you enter with a car from Windsor to Detroit.
Let's have a Kiki!

Offline AndyArrow

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  • Posts: 1,196
Re: Canadian needs to travel to the US - questions
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2009, 02:21:14 AM »
Jase,

The US border guards do not have access to your medical data. 

If however you are searched and they find your Atripla and the guards know what it's used to treat you can/will be denied entry.

I would keep them in your carry-on in an old vitamin or Tylenol bottle.  Unless the border agent takes the time to open the bottle and just so happens to know what Atripla looks like you should be pretty safe.

It's sad and disgusting that you have to do that to travel to the US but that would be my advice for a short trip like yours.  I'm sure others will have some idea as well.

Bon Voyage!
AA
It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

Offline Luke

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  • Posts: 291
Re: Canadian needs to travel to the US - questions
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2009, 05:24:45 AM »
Rather than trying to pass your drugs off as something that they are not (which kind of makes it a lot harder to play innocent in the unlikely event that your subterfuge is uncovered), you could also consider asking your pharmacist whether they can supply you with a neutral, but correctly labelled, medicine bottle for you to keep your meds in.

The only reason I say that is that trying to pass your meds of as something else pretty much advertises the fact that you know that being HIV-positive is an issue when entering the US and that your are knowingly committing an immigration fraud. If you aren't passing them of as something else, then your still have the option to plead ignorance and appeal to their better nature.

It may be that the risk of any subterfuge being uncovered is so low that it isn't worth the effort of arranging the tactical camouflage. Only you can decide that.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2009, 05:44:18 AM by Luke »

Offline webontheweb

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  • Posts: 110
Re: Canadian needs to travel to the US - questions
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2009, 06:39:48 AM »
My partner and I travel back and forth to Canada all the time.  No one has ever asked us what meds we are on, or our status.  We even tell the guards that we are married-  that gets us through FAST!  It was so funny when we went up there to get married the guard was a real straight type- you know what I mean- and when he asked me, as the driver, what was the purpose of our visit I said pointing to my partner " I am going to Toronto to get married to him".  His head went down and he just motioned forward and said "move along".   I was so mad that I wanted to get right in his face but my partner calmed down and now we laugh about it.  It is a great wedding story.
I have never flown or traveled anywhere pills or medication came into question.

You got some good advice here, but I don't think it will come into play.

Cheers my Canadian Friend!

Offline 32guyMtl

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: Canadian needs to travel to the US - questions
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2009, 03:30:02 PM »
thanks again all..  I'm hesitant to pass them off in a vitamin bottle because in a worst case scenario my family whom I'm travelling with will find out which will be more damaging for me than being barred from the States.   After 32 years, they still think I'm in a 'phase'

I will ask my doc for a 4 day Rx that maybe I can fill in the US.. I think that's my best, most honest option.  US customs can be rough for non citizens if the guard is moody that day.

It's my own personal demon I'll deal with. Thank you all for your support.

Jase

masc fit guy with the best cat in the world

Oct 2009: CD4: 700  VL: 90
Aug 2009:  CD4: 600   VL: 215
June 25 2009: incredible energy returns
June 18 2009: begin Atripla
June 16 2009:  CD4: 350 / VL 500 000

Offline AndyArrow

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,196
Re: Canadian needs to travel to the US - questions
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2009, 02:10:18 AM »
Jase -

Unless you have really good insurance that covers US pharmacies you might be quite shocked at the price you have to pay in the US.

Put your pills in a pill box that has one for each day of the week and then have your doctor write something on his/her letterhead that it is medically necessary for you to travel with your medicine without specifying what they are used to treat.

Then if you get stopped you can honestly tell the guard and your family that you are taking the drug to fight an infection.  Then tell the guard not to worry because it isn't H1N1 (swine flu) you've been tested.

I really doubt you'll have any trouble though.  Still if you want to go the route of a 4 day prescription please call ahead to the pharmacy in the US.

Hugs,
AA
It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Canadian needs to travel to the US - questions
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2009, 01:05:09 PM »
I will ask my doc for a 4 day Rx that maybe I can fill in the US.. I think that's my best, most honest option.  US customs can be rough for non citizens if the guard is moody that day.



If they go through your stuff they can find the Rx just as much as they can find the pills, plus I doubt that you can buy a 4-day supply from a pharmacy, but maybe you can, you should make sure ahead of time.

If I were you I'd wear a jockstrap (for the support) or tight underwear and wrap the 4-day supply in plastic or in a small pillbox and stick it under my balls, and make sure you don't go through one of those detectors that looks at people like x-rays (which some airports have but they are optional).

If you are going to a big city (or even a regular city) you can always place a message here or in other poz sites and find someone who might have 4 days worth and can give them or sell them to you.

Whatever you do, please DO NOT go without the meds, you will likely develop resistance if you do and that would be way worse.

It looks like the HIV travel ban will be lifted soon(ish) so hopefully if you ever come back none of this will be a problem.
 

Offline wellington

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  • Posts: 508
  • Don't sweat the little things.
Re: Canadian needs to travel to the US - questions
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2009, 04:35:33 PM »
My advice would be to put your status out of your mind and not worry about it needlessly when crossing. Have in mind, instead, the purpose of your visit -- who you're travelling with, what you're planning to do, etc. If you're calm and relxaed, you will be far less likely to send up any red flags. I carry my drugs in my carry-on and have crossed many times between Canada and the US without incident. The only time I tend to get asked questions is when coming back -- how much stuff have I bought and am bringing back to Canada? I always get a bit nervous when facing men in uniform (unless they're in a gay bar), but on my last trip to the US a few weeks ago all he did was look at my passport, scan it, and hand it back. Not a single word of exchange!

Hope all goes well for you. Bon voyage!

 


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