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Author Topic: Working abroad/Traveling with Meds + Sex Criminalization  (Read 1058 times)

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Offline Turtle-12

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Working abroad/Traveling with Meds + Sex Criminalization
« on: February 17, 2014, 01:41:39 AM »
I recently find out I am HIV+ and I started meds a couple of weeks ago here in the USA...I found out by chance that I have the virus while doing some other tests which was surprising but not the end of the world. My issue is that I work outside the US, although my family lives in the USA...Given that my DR is in the USA I started treatment in the US but now that I have to go back to work abroad I am a bit anxious about a couple of things...

First, I am worry about the meds. My insurance is giving me issues about providing me a 6 moths supply and i cannot get them where I am going  and I cannot have them mail either. I might be able to work with the insurance for the 6 months supply but that means I have to come home every six months to refill my meds, which will be a burden economically but to a certain extent doable... but this brings me a second concern, border crossing, not sure how difficult is to go through customs with so much medication... I have been traveling for over 7 years out of the USA (twice a year) and I know how it goes and I usually don't have any problems, but for some reason ever since I found out I am HIV+ I feel like I have been marked and that it'll appear on all my records, including immigration, and all that. Maybe I am been paranoid but I feel that way...does anyone has any experience traveling with meds and customs... Some times I feel like my traveling years are over and i have to come back home...the only problem is that I love my work and don't want to leave it...

My other issue is sex relations, I have read so much a about disclosure and criminalization of HIV an I am really worry about this as one can end up in jail for not telling one is HIV+...First I think this is unfair, as I got probably infected by someone who doesn't know her status and thus cannot be persecuted for transmitting HIV... I just think is unfair to disclose and for the others not to disclose their health status at all...but I guess this is how it goes...
Anyway, my questions is rather knowing how strict is this rule/law (i know it varies from state to state) but we all know theory is different than practice and I feel like many people don't disclose anything and that's how we got infected in the first place...do a lot of people go to jail for not disclosing? do you disclose when you have anonymous sex too or just when is a serious relation? how about when you hire an escort?

I feel like my sex life is over and that I not longer be able to enjoy sex ever again, unless is with another HIV+ without fearing going to jail...is this common, how do people do it? I feel like I'am been followed and watched by big brother, and that i will not longer be able to have sex freely or live my life as a may...  I know I have been paranoid about this but that's how I feel and wonder how others feel about this kind of issues...


Offline Ann

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Re: Working abroad/Traveling with Meds + Sex Criminalization
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 04:07:28 AM »
Turtle, I've moved your thread into the Living forum - which is kinda-sorta the more appropriate place for it. Off Topic, where you originally posted it, is ONLY for topics that have nothing to do with hiv.

I say "kinda-sorta" because you're asking about two totally different topics.

The topic asking about how to get your meds while travelling would best fit in the Insurance and Benefits forum (because it all hinges on your insurance), while the questions about having a sex life despite being poz would be more appropriate in the Just Tested forum.

I'm really tempted to lock this thread and have you try again with two separate threads, because there's a good chance that your questions about meds will get lost in the ensuing disclosure discussion**. At the same time I don't want to discourage you from posting, so I'll leave it as is (unless you come back and ask me to lock it) and hope for the best for you that you get all your concerns addressed.

** Threads about the criminalisation of hiv and how it affects us always boil down to heated debates discussions about disclosure. Always. It can't be helped.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

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Offline mecch

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Re: Working abroad/Traveling with Meds + Sex Criminalization
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 07:39:26 AM »
Find out the laws in place in your US State where you have sex, and in the foreign country where you have sex. You can educate yourself generally about HIV Criminalisation but its a vast topic and even in the US there is a lot of variation so the minimum is just to know the situation of the laws in the place (if any) where you have sex.

General overview of different kinds of Criminalisation of HIV laws:
http://www.hivandthelaw.com/basic-information


Criminalisation of HIV:
http://www.hivjustice.net/site/countries/
http://www.aidsfreeworld.org/PlanetAIDS/Transmission.aspx

Travel restrictions:
http://www.hivandthelaw.com/basic-information


_______________

I don't think there is any secret code in a US passport (is that what you have?) that stamps a person HIV+....   

Sounds like you have a lot of anxiety and maybe some paranoia.  The best thing to do is just learn the facts and your rights.  This goes for traveling with meds as well as disclosure of HIV status - whether it be for sex, or for a job, etc.

Once you know the OFFICIAL laws in place where you have sex, the second step is to communicate and read to understand the local situation and pick up on how HIV+ people are dealing with the laws in place. 
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 07:54:02 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Working abroad/Traveling with Meds + Sex Criminalization
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 07:45:59 AM »
I don't think you are being followed and watched by the US government because you have HIV.  But that info does usually go into a databank but I doubt in the us it has anything to do with anything outside of healthcare.

I don't know what country you go to.
But certainly in some countries there is a very high stigma against HIV+ people and in some instances countries do BAN foreigners from working, if they are hiv+.  Is that your situation? If so, then it normal to have your back up and feel "watched". However, if you are working in a country with NO restrictions on HIV for working, and permits, then nobody is watching you, or watching out for you because of HIV.

It might just be getting used to being HIV and getting rid of your own internal stigma and judgement.   

Mostly, HIV+ people get to feeling ordinary, and get on with a sex life that is satisfying, but how long it takes, and how successfully - these things do vary a lot.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline pittman

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Re: Working abroad/Traveling with Meds + Sex Criminalization
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2014, 07:58:19 PM »
Turtle-12,

I have traveled to Europe and India a fair amount. I too was rather concerned about traveling with meds after I found out I was positive.  My doctor, who is from the Netherlands and also travels to Africa regularly for volunteer work, reassured me about the countries to which I was going.

I never had any one question or raise an eyebrow about my meds! and certainly was never require to disclose at the border or my place of employment.

Not sure what you can do about the supply. In some countries, you may be able to get it locally, cheaper than what you can in the U.S.  probably best to try and work out first with your insurer to see if they will cover a script overseas.

This link talks to the issue in general, though it should be the same for HIV meds:
http://www.miusa.org/ncde/tipsheets/medications

Offline Turtle-12

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  • Posts: 24
Re: Working abroad/Traveling with Meds + Sex Criminalization
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2014, 09:39:28 PM »
Thanks Pittman and all others for your responses. Ann thanks for moving my post I am still trying to figure out where to post and there's so much knowledge to be shared...

Indeed, I will be traveling to Africa for extended amounts of time due to my work. Although I know I will not have issues concerning disclosure or border issues (so I hope), I am concerned for getting the meds. My strategy right now is to get 6 months supplies from the US to take with me, this will work well, as I will also take advantage of my trip back home to get my refills to do my lab work and visit my Doctor and ensure everything is OK, all while visiting family and friends...

On the same note, I am not sure I can get my meds in western Africa, although I know I can get them in Europe (probably for cheaper) and my insure will cover them too, I can't be taken time off from work every month to go get them... Unfortunately shipping them to where I am based is also not an option, even though they have DHL, I am concerned they might get lost in customs and never make it putting my health in jeopardy... I am sure everything will be fine once i figure things out, is just so frustrating that on top of dealing with a new disease, I also have to worry on turning my life around to accommodate for it and all... I am highly considering leaving my job and just move back home, but I love my work/career so much I refuse to leave it behind...feeling anxious

 


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