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Author Topic: Travel to Singapore!  (Read 885 times)

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Offline JakeManila

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  • Posts: 3
Travel to Singapore!
« on: March 22, 2014, 07:57:36 PM »
Good morning!

I work for a shipping company and will be flying to Singapore next week to meet my ship.  Singapore has a very strict HIV ban, and last November when I left my ship to fly home I was nervous that they would find my ARVs, so I had a doctor friend print up fake labels for my bottles.  I travel with months' worth of meds, by the way.  This time, I'll be taking a total of 4 months-worth (8 bottles total).  I'm worried, since I'll be arriving at the airport and staying overnight before heading to meet my ship, that customs may question why I have so many meds and may deny me entry.

I'm planning to empty out a huge multivitamin bottle to put my Efavirenz in, but haven't found a good bottle for my Lamivudine/Zidovudine tablets yet.

I'm just wondering if anyone has ever traveled with such large quantities of ARVs to a place like Singapore?  And if so, how did you handle the ARV problem with them?

Thanks for your thoughts.  I'm sweating here. 

Jake

Offline joemutt

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  • Posts: 1,041
Re: Travel to Singapore!
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2014, 11:45:00 PM »
I visit there often taking my meds with me - since 1997.
About taking such large quantities of ARV's I have no idea but it seems risky to mislead Singapore customs by repackaging them. good luck.

http://www.hivtravel.org/Default.aspx?PageId=143&CountryId=158
« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 11:49:26 PM by joemutt »

Offline friskyguy

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  • Posts: 105
Re: Travel to Singapore!
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2014, 08:43:38 AM »
Hi Jake,

I have brought up to 12 mths of meds (in original packaging) from time to time over the years. Sometimes these meds have my name on it and sometimes not.

I have been selected for xray scanning at customs following "pick-up" of my luggage many times. The meds would show up on scan, obviously, but no request for luggage search has ever been made.

Good advice is to just dress professionally and act normally when going thru customs (and exit with a group of people) and you should have no problems.

In case of an unlikely luggage search following a xray scan  it would be best to have a letter from your doctor on person to say that you have medical condition/ailment and require meds as listed in the letter but avoid the HIV diagnosis-just show it if asked.

If you are injured or require hospitalization in Spore while you are there just ensure you don't have any blood taken.....the authorities are renown to order HIV tests without consent.....may prevent your re-entry on later visits. I know that's pretty amazing to hear this in the 21st century!! There is some info in joemutt's posting re this.

I would not try to fool the authorities by putting your meds in non descript bottles....would only raise suspicion and make you look "suspect" and cause problems. They are not idiots. They are more interested in looking for illegal drugs.

You should be fine......don't sweat it :-)
Sero converted Sept '10 / Confirmed + Dec '10
Jan '11, VL 9,500 / CD4 482 (32%)
Feb '11, VL 5,800 / CD4 680 (37%)
start Atripla
Mch '11, VL UD / CD4 700 (42%)
Jun  '11, VL UD / CD4 750 (43%)
swap to Kivexa and Efav. due to osteopenia diag. (DEXA) / kidney issues ( decline in eGFR to 77 )
start supplements - Vit D3 / Omega 3 / multivitamin / mini aspirin
Dec '11,  VL UD <20 /  CD4 670 (49%)  / CD4:CD8 = 1.4
all labs now within normal ranges
Mch '12,  VL UD / CD4 600 (51%)
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Mch '13   VL UD / CD4 965 (56%)
Sep '13   VL UD / CD4 (not taken)
Dec '13   VL UD / CD4 901 (35%) / CD4:CD8 = 1.1  /  eGFR > 100

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Travel to Singapore!
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2014, 09:17:45 AM »
Jake, when you're trying to hide something, it is MUCH more likely to raise suspicions.

I agree with those who say you should leave your meds in their original containers. Ideally the containers should be still sealed, aside from the bottles you have open for current use.  If all your extra supply bottles have been opened and unsealed, then that can raise suspicions of tampering (ie replacing the real meds with illicit meds).

Having a letter from your doctor saying you need the meds you're travelling with is always a good idea. It doesn't have to say what condition is being treated, it just has to have the names of the meds. And of course you need to have the meds in their original containers.

If you have documentation that shows you're only in Singapore as an in-transit traveller, they're not really going to care about your hiv status. You're not staying there, you're only there to catch your ship.

Do you have documentation from the ship's captain or the company you work for instructing you to join the ship in Singapore? That should suffice in the unlikely event that questions are asked - provided your travel itinerary doesn't include a few days in Singapore. In other words if you're joining your ship within 12 hours or so of your flight, you're obviously not there for recreation. You're just in-transit.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline JakeManila

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: Travel to Singapore!
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2014, 09:29:32 PM »
Thanks for all the good advice, y'all.  I'm an extremely responsible, law-abiding person under normal circumstances, regardless of how draconian or ridiculous a law may be.  But I've gotten so many mixed messages from so many people - including important people on the ground in Singapore - that even though this wouldn't even be a question anywhere else, it's put me in a real corner on this one.

I spoke with my doctor yesterday who wrote a letter for me about the meds.  Upon learning that it was for Singapore, he refused to even list the medication names in the letter - even went so far as to change the clinic's letterhead.  It's hard not to be concerned.

I'd very much prefer to play it straight and just be honest.  And your advice reinforces that for me.  Still, the nerves are there.  I'll keep you posted.  ;-)

Thanks!
Jake

Offline Ann

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  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Travel to Singapore!
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2014, 06:26:41 AM »
Would it be possible for you to join your ship at another port? Like the port-of-call before or after Singapore?

Does your shipping company know your status? If they do, they may be willing to accommodate you. If they don't know, is there good reason for not telling them? Depending on where the company is registered, they may not be able to fire you just for being poz. You're on meds, undetectable, and no threat to anyone where hiv is concerned.

Anyway, see if you can't change the port where you join ship. It's worth a try - like I always told my daughter; always ask. If you don't ask, you don't get, and the worst they could do is say "no".
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

 


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