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Author Topic: Trying to decide on travel risk  (Read 1324 times)

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Offline wolfthorn

  • Member
  • Posts: 85
Trying to decide on travel risk
« on: October 20, 2013, 06:05:27 PM »
I was dx'd in July with less than 20 CD4 and a big VL; started HAART soon thereafter, and my latest results have showed a big boost in CD4 (164!) and nearly undetectable VL (34) (YAY!!!)

Before diagnosis I had planned and saved for on an epic trip with my friends to Southeast Asia. I was initially thinking that I would have to cancel based on how sick I was, but now that my numbers seem to be improving I'm less sure of what to do. I have already gone to the beach for a week, which got me used to traveling and packing meds. I'm just wondering when I should feel OK to travel. Granted, I depleted much of my vacation savings account to pay for all this new health care (though luckily now I've gotten the cost of my meds down to around $50 a month).

I know that there are a few adventurous travelers here, what would you do?

Part of me wants to be conservative and go somewhere low-risk, aka Florida. Then again, my brush with death this last year has made me reticent to delay life experiences.     
7/10/13: Oraquick at Home (+)
7/11/13: CD4 <20, VL 286,000
7/26/13: Start Stribild, Bactrim, Azithromycin
8/13/13: CD4 64, VL 1194
9/11/13: CD4 87, VL 511
10/14/13: CD4 164, VL 34
10/15/13: Stop Azithromycin!

Offline ad2san

  • Member
  • Posts: 189
Re: Trying to decide on travel risk
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 06:22:51 PM »
Hi there, it depends on where you go, if you require some vaccination, if HIV is an entry restriction etc ... You should have a talk with your doc about this

Cheers
Feb   2009 CD4 358 VL 2000 16%
May  2009 CD4 305 VL 3069  14% <---- Started TVD+ATZ/r
Jul  2009 CD4 512 VL <50   18%
Jul 2010 CD4 418 VL <50 24%                     
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Norvir + Reyataz (due to sleep problem)
Aug 2010 CD4 606 VL <50 25%
Jul 2011 CD4 494 UD 23%
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Viramune XR (due to kidney problems)
January 2012 CD4 564 UD 31%
October 2012 CD4 684 UD 29%
January 2013 CD4 594 UD 26%
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Isentress due to BIG increase GammaGT
Feb 2013 CD4 699 UD 28%
May 2013 CD4 385 UD 28%
July 2013 CD4 CD4 636 UD 25%
Oct 2013 CD4 588 UD 39%
Aug 2014 CD4 639 UD 25%

Offline darryaz

  • Member
  • Posts: 450
Re: Trying to decide on travel risk
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 06:26:13 PM »
I'd be curious to know how far off the trip is planned for.  If it's still a couple of months away your CD-4 will most likely have risen considerably by then.


Offline wolfthorn

  • Member
  • Posts: 85
Re: Trying to decide on travel risk
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 07:30:26 PM »
It's for 2 weeks in the end of January. I think I have a reasonable chance of being over 200 and UD by that time.

I don't think there are travel restrictions for any of the countries involved, and even if there were I wouldn't obey them anyway.  :P
7/10/13: Oraquick at Home (+)
7/11/13: CD4 <20, VL 286,000
7/26/13: Start Stribild, Bactrim, Azithromycin
8/13/13: CD4 64, VL 1194
9/11/13: CD4 87, VL 511
10/14/13: CD4 164, VL 34
10/15/13: Stop Azithromycin!

Offline buginme2

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,204
Re: Trying to decide on travel risk
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 09:15:15 PM »
I would go.  What's life if you have to cancel your "epic" trips?  You've got a few more months to heal before your trip, you'll be fine.
Don't be fancy, just get dancey

Offline darryaz

  • Member
  • Posts: 450
Re: Trying to decide on travel risk
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 09:39:35 PM »
I think I have a reasonable chance of being over 200 and UD by that time.

I would say an EXCELLENT chance.  I think you should definitely plan on going.

Offline bocker3

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,443
  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: Trying to decide on travel risk
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2013, 10:46:56 PM »
If your doc is OK with your plans -- I'd say, absolutely, 100%, GO.  I love to travel and do so whenever I can.  Of course, you do want to take precautions on things like drinking water (don't forget that ice cubes can be from the same water) or eating raw foods, but everyone should do that.
My partner and I are going on a safari in Tanzania this Feb -- although my t-cells are fine, we are still planning on taking some cipro (or something similar) in case we get the dreaded traveler's diarrhea.  This trip is far too costly to spend in the outhouse. 

So again -- live your life.  Get the doc's OK first (push hard for a real good reason if he/she recommends not going), but enjoy life to the fullest.

Pics when you return please.....

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline Jeff G

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 12,735
  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Trying to decide on travel risk
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2013, 11:04:12 PM »
I would go if I were you and you're feeling up to it . I traveled to Asia for a month with a low cd4 count and did just fine , better than fine actually because it was one of the best trips I have ever been on . 

If you can make the trip it will do wonders for your outlook on life and then you will know that despite HIV you can still lead a full normal life . Go for it ! 

Offline wolfthorn

  • Member
  • Posts: 85
Re: Trying to decide on travel risk
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2013, 11:39:55 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. Now just to find the money to go  :o

My doc is a travel medicine specialist as well as ID, so he will give me a second opinion as well. He said I shouldn't go to India when I was cd4=64, but by Jan I should be better and I think he's starting to fret less.

I was so scared to go to Mexico but it ended up being just fine, and I think my CD4 jumped because I was really coddling myself there and sleeping a ton. The truth is that my daily work is more physically stressful than even a really adventurous day of vacation. 

The only thing I'm really scared about is losing my medication as Stribild isn't sold everywhere in the world, but I guess if the worst happens I could just switch to whatever was available for a couple of days.

I'm so thankful to the people who developed HAART. Just a few months ago I was really sick, now I feel like my life is coming back.
7/10/13: Oraquick at Home (+)
7/11/13: CD4 <20, VL 286,000
7/26/13: Start Stribild, Bactrim, Azithromycin
8/13/13: CD4 64, VL 1194
9/11/13: CD4 87, VL 511
10/14/13: CD4 164, VL 34
10/15/13: Stop Azithromycin!

Offline ad2san

  • Member
  • Posts: 189
Re: Trying to decide on travel risk
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2013, 04:49:27 AM »
Thanks for all the advice. Now just to find the money to go  :o

My doc is a travel medicine specialist as well as ID, so he will give me a second opinion as well. He said I shouldn't go to India when I was cd4=64, but by Jan I should be better and I think he's starting to fret less.

right, some countries also REQUIRE among others a month old Yellow fever injection .... This is a vaccine that poses problem for low count cd4  poz ....

No one can tell how high your CD4 may be in 2 months .... I keep finger crossed for you but think about a plan B if you want to go to india or pakistan ....


Feb   2009 CD4 358 VL 2000 16%
May  2009 CD4 305 VL 3069  14% <---- Started TVD+ATZ/r
Jul  2009 CD4 512 VL <50   18%
Jul 2010 CD4 418 VL <50 24%                     
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Norvir + Reyataz (due to sleep problem)
Aug 2010 CD4 606 VL <50 25%
Jul 2011 CD4 494 UD 23%
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Viramune XR (due to kidney problems)
January 2012 CD4 564 UD 31%
October 2012 CD4 684 UD 29%
January 2013 CD4 594 UD 26%
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Isentress due to BIG increase GammaGT
Feb 2013 CD4 699 UD 28%
May 2013 CD4 385 UD 28%
July 2013 CD4 CD4 636 UD 25%
Oct 2013 CD4 588 UD 39%
Aug 2014 CD4 639 UD 25%

Offline Houskypoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Trying to decide on travel risk
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2013, 11:57:53 AM »
If you're feeling good....and you have the money.....GO!!!!  You'll have these memories forever and will never regret taking the trip of a lifetime!!!

Offline Disturbed

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
Re: Trying to decide on travel risk
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2013, 06:09:41 AM »
I just came back from a month in Thailand with a CD4 of 100... no problem at all... no diarrhea no anything. When back they checked my CD4 again and it improved by 90 = 190. Now planning another trip to Thailand and Philippines.
It depends where you go, but most places in South East Asia should be OK.
Jan'12 Diagnosed HIV+ CD4 26 VL 3.400.000
Dec'12 Diagnosed visceral leishmaniasis CD4 60 VL 560
May'13 Diagnosed CIDP CD4 180 VL UD
May'14 CD4 330 VL UD

Offline YellowFever

  • Member
  • Posts: 163
Re: Trying to decide on travel risk
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2013, 02:07:13 PM »
I don't think there are travel restrictions for any of the countries involved, and even if there were I wouldn't obey them anyway.  :P

I support! Those restrictions are dumb and do nothing to the fight against HIV, if not hamper it. Of the countries in SEA, I think Singapore and Malaysia are the most severe in their treatment against HIV+ visitors. However, don't let that put you off. I'm a Malaysian and I think its a great place to visit. My friends have told me that most pozzies travel into these two countries via Thailand, as a failsafe. So if you get rejected at the border, you just go back the beach in Thailand. Enjoy your time there!
08/2010 HIV- 08/2012 HIV+
10/2012 CD4 415(15%)
04/2013 CD4 457(15%)
10/2013 CD4 520 (20%) VL 650 (wtf?)
02/2014 CD4 410(20%) VL 390 (yay!)
08/2014 CD4 580(?%)

 


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