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Author Topic: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?  (Read 8014 times)

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Offline Gambit

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« on: June 16, 2010, 03:02:51 AM »
I've never been on a plane in my entire life so I really don't know how this works.. but I'm supposed to be going overseas with family next year, and I'm on meds.  Does security stop you and check prescriptions and everything?  I am very much in the closet about my disease and am not sure I'm ready to tell anybody in my family or have myself completely outed by security.  Does anybody have experience with this?  If this is something I won't be able to hide I guess I'm going to have to try to think of an excuse as to why I can't go. 

 ??? ???
01-07-10 --- CD4 = 347 / VL = 19,000 / % = 23
02-09-10 --- Started Atripla
02-25-10 --- CD4 = 478 / VL = 260
04-08-10 --- CD4 = 720 / VL = 120
07-13-10 --- CD4 = 798 / VL = UD
10-13-10 --- CD4 = 570 / VL = UD
12-14-10 --- CD4 = 446 / VL = UD / % = 39
03-15-11 --- CD4 = 562 / VL = UD
06-28-11 --- CD4 = 580 / VL = UD
10-18-11 --- CD4 = NA /  VL = UD
02-21-12 --- CD4 = 865 / VL = UD / % = 41
07-03-12 --- CD4 = 507 / VL = UD / % = 36

Offline komnaes

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  • Posts: 1,893
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2010, 05:26:07 AM »
It depends on where you heading Gambit. There'd be little concern if you're not traveling to a place that has restriction to entry of anyone who's HIV+.

Some folks here advise to travel with the prescription paper just to be safe but since people travel with all sort of meds and even vitamin pills it's highly unusual that you will be asked. I travel with mind in the original bottles and not once I have been asked (and I am on a plane at least once a month).

It's also a good idea to keep your meds in your hand carry. Check-in luggage do get lost sometimes and you don't wanna be without your meds.
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 mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,897
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2010, 08:36:59 AM »
How long are you going for?  How many pills do you need, with a little safety added on. Where are you going? 

Two different but related questions:  How to hide it from family, and customs considerations.  Both seem solvable.

1) I fly alot and have yet to be searched. 2) Successfully hid the drugs and the daily dose from people who don't need to know.

Good idea to bring a copy of the prescription.
 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Nestor

  • Member
  • Posts: 430
  • What we love, we shall grow to resemble.
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2010, 10:30:18 AM »

I can say that a few years ago, when the United States still had a full entry ban on people with HIV, a Canadian friend of mine came to visit me and he was terrified that they would see his medicines in his bag and prevent him from entering.  They didn't even look.  My instinct would be to say that it is unlikely.  They would have to care enough to inspect your bags thoroughly (which happens to only few people; of all the many times I've entered foreign countries, I've only had my bags inspected one single time); then they would have to inspect the medicine, find out what it was, be mean enough to do something about it---I would guess the chance is slim.  Then, not many countries have outright travel bans any more.  The United States, China, and South Korea have all gotten rid of theirs, at least on paper.  But obviously, the big question is, where are you going?
Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

Offline leatherman

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,269
  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2010, 11:38:18 AM »
anytime I've flown within the US, I've just taken my meds in my daily pill organizer, in my carry-on.

So many people take medications for so many reasons, I doubt many airport security systems have the time to check on everyone's handful of meds that they are taking on their trip. Of course, if you've got a suitcase with nothing but pills, then they probably will check to see what you are "smuggling". ;)

And don't forget to take a few extra days worth!
You never know when snow or volcanoes might delay your return. ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Nestor

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  • Posts: 430
  • What we love, we shall grow to resemble.
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2010, 12:59:39 PM »

So many people take medications for so many reasons, I doubt many airport security systems have the time to check on everyone's handful of meds that they are taking on their trip.

That's really true!  Ironically I, with HIV, am just about the only one I know who isn't on several medicines.  In other words, if customs officials were going to stop people to inspect and ask about their medicines, they'd have to do it to almost everyone, or at least almost every American.  And the only countries that would care would be ones that not only have travel bans but were really zealous about enforcing it. 

On the other hand, I'm wondering, if keeping HIV a secret from your family is really important, whether it would be possible simply to pour the HIV meds into vitamin bottles and say they were vitamins?  Without subjecting them to chemical analysis, how would anyone ever know? 
Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

Offline Just John

  • Member
  • Posts: 267
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2010, 06:42:30 PM »
So many people take medications for so many reasons, I doubt many airport security systems have the time to check on everyone's handful of meds that they are taking on their trip. Of course, if you've got a suitcase with nothing but pills, then they probably will check to see what you are "smuggling". ;)
And don't forget to take a few extra days worth!
You never know when snow or volcanoes might delay your return. ;)

Ditto the above good advice, I also carry my med's in their original containers and a copy of the prescription just in case, although I have never been asked about any medication I was carrying.

As a fellow closet pozzie I understand your concerns about "being outed", if it ever arose that I was asked in front of family or friends; and I have been asked before now when taking my med's in the company of others, I just say with a big smile  ;D that they're for treating my anal warts.

I've never been asked twice. ;D ;D ;D

-John.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.

Offline djayp

  • Member
  • Posts: 18
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2010, 08:23:26 PM »

As a fellow closet pozzie I understand your concerns about "being outed", if it ever arose that I was asked in front of family or friends; and I have been asked before now when taking my med's in the company of others, I just say with a big smile  ;D that they're for treating my anal warts.

I've never been asked twice. ;D ;D ;D

-John.

Ha! Great response, I think I'll need to use that one in the future.

For what it counts, I travel a lot for my job to Asia and the UK. Granted I am newly diagnosed, but have always traveled with meds for anxiety, sleep, awake, you name it - always a bag full of at least 4 bottled pills and no one has ever stopped me or questioned me. So I assume when I travel next time with my new HIV meds, it will be the same way.
---
5/26/10 - Poz
6/16/10 - CD4 276, VL 20,000, 20%
7/28/10 - began Atripla
8/25/10 - CD4 291, VL 211, 23%
12/13/10 - CD4 370, VL UD, % unknown
4/18/11 - CD4 390, VL UD % unknown
4/17/12 -CD4 344, VL UD 29%

Offline Gambit

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2010, 01:44:18 AM »
Thanks everyone for the advice.  I'll be going to Asia.  I was thinking also about just putting the pills in my bottle of multivitamins.. I mean I doubt pharmacists are doing security checks, so..  I just tend to worry a lot about being 'exposed'.  I was crazy excited to find out about this trip, then I thought of this, and was worried to death about it  :-\  I'm glad nobody else has problems, that at least puts my mind at ease about it.  Thank you guys   ;D
01-07-10 --- CD4 = 347 / VL = 19,000 / % = 23
02-09-10 --- Started Atripla
02-25-10 --- CD4 = 478 / VL = 260
04-08-10 --- CD4 = 720 / VL = 120
07-13-10 --- CD4 = 798 / VL = UD
10-13-10 --- CD4 = 570 / VL = UD
12-14-10 --- CD4 = 446 / VL = UD / % = 39
03-15-11 --- CD4 = 562 / VL = UD
06-28-11 --- CD4 = 580 / VL = UD
10-18-11 --- CD4 = NA /  VL = UD
02-21-12 --- CD4 = 865 / VL = UD / % = 41
07-03-12 --- CD4 = 507 / VL = UD / % = 36

Offline Just John

  • Member
  • Posts: 267
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2010, 08:00:07 PM »
I was thinking also about just putting the pills in my bottle of multivitamins.. I mean I doubt pharmacists are doing security checks, so..

They might not be Pharmacists but the customs guys have enough experience to spot fake multivit's. This could lead to more trouble than it's worth.

-John.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.

Offline Miss Philicia

  • Member
  • Posts: 24,206
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2010, 08:41:19 PM »
Indeed.  People need to remember that just because you haven't been pulled over and searched doesn't mean it doesn't happen.  I've had it happened more times than I can count, with carry on fully inspected.  Since 9/11 it's been for "whatever" I guess, but at least twice before that I was pulled over for inspections of drugs -- not HIV meds, but illegal drugs, once pre-meds and one post-meds.  Fortunately I've always travelled with my meds in pharmacy labeled bottles, but they can always keep you from boarding your flight until they sort out what you're carrying.

That's my experience, you folks can do what you like.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Nestor

  • Member
  • Posts: 430
  • What we love, we shall grow to resemble.
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2010, 10:30:33 AM »

The problem for Gambit is that his family doesn't know he has HIV and he wants to keep it that way.  It would be fine for me to pull out a prescription and explain what it was for, but if Gambit had to do that in front of his whole family it would make a pretty awkward moment.  But perhaps if he really were asked what the meds were for, he could simply silently hand over the prescription and the person would probably not shout out what it said? 

Nobody is denying that searches happen--I said that I was searched once (out of countless foreign trips) but the likelihood is too small to warrant something like Gambit's cancelling the vacation out of fear of it.   
Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

Offline mikejh

  • Member
  • Posts: 31
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2010, 08:56:55 PM »
Hi There
Don't worry to much about to travel with your meds, I have been travelling in and out of US to Asia and Europe 3-4 times per year, between 2006 and 2008 I have travelled with Atripla 3 meds for High Blood pressure Mepron which are in a 75 mill Bottle and did not even have trouble with 2 bottles, they were checked once at JFK for radioactive presence. Since May 2008 I have added morphine, Oxycontin, 3 meds for urination problem after prostate cancer radiation, have been stopped once in Hong Kong and asked about the narcotics but they just shake their heads when they saw the rest of my pills, I had a 2 months supply and told me to have a nice day. Just make sure you have a document from your doctor and the original bottles with your name on.
Mike
CD4   %
22 Sep 06   37     5  Started Atripla
5   Oct 06   82     9
1   Dec 06  258   13
25 Jan  07  263   14
1   May 07  403   18
6   Aug 07  438   22
7   Nov 07  417   19
30 jan   08  310   19
7   May  08  285   20
6   Aug  08  472   27
12  Nov 08  444   26
11  Feb  09 335    19
10  May  09  460  25

Offline wellington

  • Member
  • Posts: 508
  • Don't sweat the little things.
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2010, 12:36:36 AM »
Last time I flew, I had my meds in my carry on (as usual) in a zip lock baggie with other items. Security really isn't too interested in them although they looked at the label and then ... a prompt distraction to my shiny new iPad. Coming back I had to go through a full body scan because something in my pants looked suspicious. *grin* I had the option of being searched by a male security guard but the chemistry just wasn't there and I lacked the time to flirt since family was wondering what all the fuss was about and why I was in this machine being scanned.

Long story short ... I've travelled all over with meds and have never had a problem. Security's focus is on safety; customs is another story :) Having your papers is probably wise (for extra comfort) but really, don't sweat it unless you're going well off the beaten path.

Offline jonny81

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
  • "Fall seven times, stand up eight"
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2010, 11:40:47 AM »
Hey!

I'm cabin crew for a worldwide airline - and I travel constantly with them, and we also get randomly searched.

Only place that really still has a problem is many countries in the middle east - I actually had to pull out of a job with Emirates because of my HIV. I also opted out of places like Dubai and sharm from my roster to avoid problems.

I don't really care about people knowing or not - I'm quite open about it here in the UK - but here's a tip I use to avoid people/family/colleagues giving you an odd look: put them in a Centrum Multivitamin bottle

I'm sure this suggestion must have been mentioned. In this day and age when EVERYONE takes multivitamins people won't think twice about it. My pills are atripla and look a bit like centrum anyway.

I have a pill-box at home but have one of those mini Centrum bottles designed for travel in my carry on bag for going away.

Offline jonny81

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
  • "Fall seven times, stand up eight"
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2010, 11:43:42 AM »
And PS -

double check if some places you go need a vaccine to travel - ie. india and africa - you need a yellow fever vaccination and there is a small but slight risk of having that with HIV.

Offline ruralguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 141
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2010, 11:54:35 AM »
I've travelled a lot for years and never ever has anyone ever looked at any meds I'm carrying.  So I wouldn't worry about it. 

A pill organizer is useful, and using a centrum bottle for atripla if you need to. 

Be sure you CARRY the meds with you....do not put them in checked luggage that may not arrive.

Even better have a few backup pills in a second place in your carry on

And have fun...don't sweat the security issue.  And avoid the middle east

(of, on vaccines, check with your doc...you should not get live vaccines)
tested positive June 19, 2009
7/3/09 vrl 9000 cd4 - 300
8/14/09 cd4 - 350, 20%
started Atripla 9/14/09
10/5/09 vrl undetectable, WOW so fast!
12/28/09 vrl undetectable, CD4 - 615  27% cholesterol down, kidney function normal
4/26/10 vrl undetectable, CD4-600, kidney and liver numbers normal
9/9/10 vrl undetectable, CD4-685
1/3/11 vrl undetectable, CD4-700
all 2011 and Jan 2012 visits vrl undetectable CD4 ranged from 715-645
5/7/2012  vrl undetectable, CD4-615, all liver, kidney, lipids, heart functions, etc normal


On Atripla:  "Your mileage may vary"

Offline frenchhorn88

  • member
  • Posts: 1
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2010, 10:59:48 PM »
I'm doing a lot of international travel coming up and my doc suggested she'd provide me with a letter explaining the meds (I'll be taking several months' supplies with me) in case of problems. That might be a good precautionary measure to take.

Offline OneTampa

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  • Posts: 2,269
  • "Butterflies are free."
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 08:05:30 PM by OneTampa »
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline Gambit

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2010, 03:13:00 AM »
Wow... I sure am glad I came back and read this again..

I'm stopping in one of those countries that has an entry ban.  And I'm not sure if I'd be willing to risk "hiding" my medication in a different bottle.  Talk about an outing in the worst possible way.  I guess I'm going to have to figure out a way to get out of this vacation. 

Thank you for posting those links.
01-07-10 --- CD4 = 347 / VL = 19,000 / % = 23
02-09-10 --- Started Atripla
02-25-10 --- CD4 = 478 / VL = 260
04-08-10 --- CD4 = 720 / VL = 120
07-13-10 --- CD4 = 798 / VL = UD
10-13-10 --- CD4 = 570 / VL = UD
12-14-10 --- CD4 = 446 / VL = UD / % = 39
03-15-11 --- CD4 = 562 / VL = UD
06-28-11 --- CD4 = 580 / VL = UD
10-18-11 --- CD4 = NA /  VL = UD
02-21-12 --- CD4 = 865 / VL = UD / % = 41
07-03-12 --- CD4 = 507 / VL = UD / % = 36

Offline sam66

  • Member
  • Posts: 277
  • Keep The Faith ; Fight The Fight
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2010, 06:07:19 AM »
Hi Gambit,
               I travel to Asia all the time, some times with a 5 month supply of Atripla and Statins, One thing I do is to remove Atripla label from the containers and put the Statin label on them, my plan was if anyone ask me about the meds I would say they are for heart condition.
             But in 3 years I have never had any problems anywhere, no ones ever asked me about the meds

  sam
december 2007 diagnosed +ve ,

Offline Gambit

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2010, 01:28:57 PM »
well Singapore is where I would be headed.. and the more I've googled, the more its scaring me on the idea of getting 'busted'.  it sounds pretty strict. 
01-07-10 --- CD4 = 347 / VL = 19,000 / % = 23
02-09-10 --- Started Atripla
02-25-10 --- CD4 = 478 / VL = 260
04-08-10 --- CD4 = 720 / VL = 120
07-13-10 --- CD4 = 798 / VL = UD
10-13-10 --- CD4 = 570 / VL = UD
12-14-10 --- CD4 = 446 / VL = UD / % = 39
03-15-11 --- CD4 = 562 / VL = UD
06-28-11 --- CD4 = 580 / VL = UD
10-18-11 --- CD4 = NA /  VL = UD
02-21-12 --- CD4 = 865 / VL = UD / % = 41
07-03-12 --- CD4 = 507 / VL = UD / % = 36

Offline sam66

  • Member
  • Posts: 277
  • Keep The Faith ; Fight The Fight
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2010, 02:17:05 PM »
  Gambit
             China and Singapore were the countries with the strictest entry regulations regarding hiv in Asia pacific;   China have recently  lifted all restrictions.

             Sadly Singapore still have very tight controlls in place; however you do not need a hiv test certificate
       if your stay is less than 30 days ( for the purpose of tourism or business ) .  Also you need permission to bring arv's in to the country, it is best to remove any labels on meds which can be identified as arv's.

     more information on this link

            http://www.hivtravel.org/Default.aspx?PageId=143&Mode=list&StateId=2



  all the best
  sam
december 2007 diagnosed +ve ,

Offline Gambit

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Traveling Overseas With Meds? Help?
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2010, 03:20:51 PM »
Thank you. 

Definitely not sure about this.. the thought of getting deported in front of my family doesn't sound like fun.  Pretty sad that I'm not even allowed to 'visit' a country.  With the way things are in my life right now, I'm probably going to try to blame my job for not being able to go.  I'd rather my family be pissed off at me than see me getting banned from a country lol.
01-07-10 --- CD4 = 347 / VL = 19,000 / % = 23
02-09-10 --- Started Atripla
02-25-10 --- CD4 = 478 / VL = 260
04-08-10 --- CD4 = 720 / VL = 120
07-13-10 --- CD4 = 798 / VL = UD
10-13-10 --- CD4 = 570 / VL = UD
12-14-10 --- CD4 = 446 / VL = UD / % = 39
03-15-11 --- CD4 = 562 / VL = UD
06-28-11 --- CD4 = 580 / VL = UD
10-18-11 --- CD4 = NA /  VL = UD
02-21-12 --- CD4 = 865 / VL = UD / % = 41
07-03-12 --- CD4 = 507 / VL = UD / % = 36

 


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