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Author Topic: Travel & Treatment  (Read 4818 times)

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Offline anewday

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  • Posts: 7
Travel & Treatment
« on: April 27, 2009, 12:46:02 AM »
Hi folks, I'm new here. Just diagnosed 2 weeks ago. I guess I am coping...still trying to learn...

I have a question I hope some of you can help me with. I travel a lot for work and leisure. If I have to start meds (still waiting for first labs), how do you manage that when traveling? Things like time zone changes, long flights, irregular meals, etc?

If I have to start meds, how long should I plan before traveling again?

Maybe this is a trivial issue for some. I know my health is more important than traveling, but it is a part of my life now which I hope (really hope!) I can maintain as time goes on.

Thanks for any advice you may have.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Travel & Treatment
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2009, 02:37:02 AM »
I have travelled a lot over 16 years of treatment and on a wide variety of med regimens, including the injectable drug Fuzeon.  That took some planning, but if I could handle that I'm sure you can handle whatever pill you begin on.  As far as time zone changes, it's simple -- if, for example, you're on a regimen that requires every 12 hour doses you just maintain that irrespective of changes in time.  If that requires food, then you need to note that food doesn't necessarily equate to a full meal -- a snack if fine unless otherwise specified.  You generally have an hour or so give-or-take with dosing times, maybe more, so if you're going somewhere for more than a weekend you can adjust things incrementally to better fit meal times.

If you think you can handle traveling while adhering to your regimen there's no reason to wait to travel.  I carry all of my meds in my carry on, and then one dose in a flat pill box in a pocket of my pants in case I need them in flight.  Obviously putting meds in checked luggage isn't recommended in case there's a delay or loss of luggage.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: Travel & Treatment
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2009, 07:35:50 AM »
When you get ready to start on medications you should have a discussion with your doctor about how different drugs would fit into your life.  I traveled a lot for work (two or three nights per week away) and meals were not very predictable -- so that factored into choosing my meds (pills that don't require food).

As long as I was within 3 time zones I just stayed on my schedule; for more than that I'd move the schedule an hour or hour and a half each day.

If you use a pill box, get one that won't set off the airport security scanners -- me I just put two days of pills in a baggy in my pocket. 

Do make sure you always pack a supply for more days than you plan to stay, especially for short trips.  The only time I ever ran into a problem was on what was supposed to be a day trip, but there were thunderstorms . . . That's why I put two days worth in my pocket now.

But it is all eminently doable.  Just make sure you talk it over with your doctor when it is time.
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%
2014 VL UD - 48
2015 VL 130 Moved to Triumeq

Offline John2038

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Re: Travel & Treatment
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2009, 04:41:37 PM »

you may want to check this website for any travel restrictions/ban:


Regarding your meds, you may ask your airline company what might be also the restrictions in the destination country.

Most of the time, you have to travel with your prescription if you have few months supplies.

If you buy your meds abroad, keep the receipt + prescription as you can claims the VAT back.

About the time zone, I personally have a watch with 2 different time.
One is my meds time (I never change the time on it, no matter if it's summer or winter time) and it is the time I consider for taking my meds.
The others time is just the time.

Be carefull with the alarm: if you sleep in the airplane or at your destination, ensure that your alarm will wake up you.

Finally, travel with your meds (handbag) to ensure you always have them available.

If you go to a warm country, check that your meds are not stored above the max temp.
Usually, it's 30C. If your meds are stored above, they usually have to be consumed within a month.
Do not froze your meds if you put them in a fridge (so don't put the fridge too cold but at the highest temp or around to stay close to the ambiant temp).

If you go to a tropical country, ensure your meds are stored in a dry place (be carefull with the humidity).

You may want also to check any vaccine you may need at the country of destination.
In any case, do not drink tap water.

For some countries:
- ensure that the bottled water you buy are in a bottle are manufactured by trustable companies.
- Avoid any ice cube in your drink.
- Ensure the meat, fish and so are always cooked well done.

Before your departure, copy the phones numbers in your phone (if in the SIM card), especially the one of your ID doc.

You can also look on the internet for a good hospital where you go.
I some case, travelling with a full insurance (especially accident, lost of baggages, etc) can be useful.

If you travel long time, ensure you have enough supply. For this, you may need (depending on the duration of your staying) cross-check that you can still get the same meds in the target country.
Indeed, you are never sure you won't loose your bag, damage your meds and so.

Check the expiration date of your meds.
To get the farest expiry date, buy your meds in the biggest pharmacy.

Be carefull about the meds copies.
Check your meds interactions before taking any others meds to treat even little things (e.g. aspirin for a simple headache).

Enjoy your trip !



Some airlines companies will allows you to travel with your meds + supply + presciption if your meds have an english label (most of the time, but can be an other language depending on the destination). So cross check with the airline.

Haven't re-read my crap english. Sorry for the numerous english mistake.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 05:04:46 PM by John2038 »

Offline bocker3

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Re: Travel & Treatment
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2009, 06:38:36 PM »
HIV should not hugely impact your ability to travel.  If you enjoy it, you should make sure to keep it up.
How traveling might impact when you take your drugs will be entirely dependent on the drugs you take.  Many of the more "popular" meds for naive patients have quite a forgiving window.  You may not even need to worry about it.
I travel a few times a year -- I take my Atripla at bedtime and my reyataz/norvir with breakfast.  When I change time zones, I still take my Atripla at whatever is now my bedtime and my reyataz/norvir at whatever is now my breakfast time.  I've checked with my doctor (as well as Dr. Gallant on the Johns Hopkins site) and was told this would be fine.  However, you should talk with your doctor and do what makes sense for your particular regimen.

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
May2015 969/28% <20

Offline anewday

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Re: Travel & Treatment
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 08:28:33 PM »
Thanks guys!

I really appreciate all the comments and advice! This makes me feel so much better because traveling is one of the things that gives me great pleasure. I was very scared that this would be the end (or significant curtailment) of that hobby.


Offline bocker3

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  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: Travel & Treatment
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 10:17:03 PM »
Thanks guys!

I really appreciate all the comments and advice! This makes me feel so much better because traveling is one of the things that gives me great pleasure. I was very scared that this would be the end (or significant curtailment) of that hobby.


You know, I had the same worry when I tested positive.  In fact, one of the first things I said to the person giving me my results was, "I guess I'll need to cancel my Mediterranean cruise."  She asked me why?  She said that I should continue to live my life -- just be sure to check things with your doctor.  I'm glad she said that -- we went on that cruise and had a glorious time.  Since then, I've traveled all over Europe, South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and more. 

Don't let HIV limit your life.  Do what you want -- take care of yourself, of course -- but LIVE.

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
May2015 969/28% <20

Offline anewday

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  • Posts: 7
Re: Travel & Treatment
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 11:53:45 PM »
Thanks Bocker!
That's what I want to do....keep life enjoyable despite the 'background' noise!
Will give it my best shot!

Offline OneMoreGuy

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  • Posts: 77
Re: Travel & Treatment
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2009, 02:41:32 PM »
Like many who have shared their thoughts here already, I also travel a lot.

I know the virus affects each of us differently, so I can only say that as for me, my life and lifestyle has not changed since I was diagnosed back in 2005, aside from having to take a pill every day for the rest of my life.

Atripla (Strocrin/Sustiva + Truvada) has worked well for me and I am glad. When I travel for business, I take enough for the trip plus a few extra in case there is an unexpected delay in my return home. For pleasure, my husband and I normally take once a year a 4 to 6 week vacation - so for this travel, I take enough to last me for the extent of the trip plus a few extra in case of delays.

With luck, just like me, you will not experience any decrease in your quality of life for many years to come.

Psychologist, PhD
Counseling patients with HIV since Jan 1991
HIV since Dec 2005
There are three parts to any successful relationship (platonic or romantic): trust, honesty and communication

Offline SoSadTooBad

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Re: Travel & Treatment
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2009, 12:16:59 AM »
On many an airline flight, I have washed my Atripla down with a bloody mary.  Travel safe, travel fast  and travel often.

Offline minismom

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Re: Travel & Treatment
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2009, 06:47:28 PM »
We actually just got back from a week long trip.  In 10 days, we're leaving again for another week.  I agree with Philly and the others here.  When Mini and I went to Mexico last year, there was a 2hr time difference.  I set my watch to local time, and changed the alarms to go off 2hrs earlier (equal to the same time as back home.)  That way, her meds were given at the same time.  For her "with food" med, I stuck a couple granola bars in my purse and away we went.  I've found chocolate milk works just as well.  For the flight, I kept the meds in the original prescription bottles and was never asked about them.

A bit of planning, a bit of fore-thought, and you shouldn't have any problems.  Happy travels!
"Whichever way you throw me, i will stand"
"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today...it's already tomorrow in Australia"  Charles Schultz

Offline mikejh

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  • Posts: 36
Re: Travel & Treatment
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2009, 08:19:16 PM »
i just came home from a 6 weeks trip to Asia, Have confirmed Aids and take Atripla.
Were diagnosed for 2 years ago with CD4 of 37 and 750000 viral load.
Now I am undetectable and have CD4 of 457.
i have travelled regularly on long trips 4 times a year and just take my meds on the same time regardless if it is morning in the country i visit. I also drink beer and wine and live a totally normal life.
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


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