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Author Topic: Atripla Queston and the UAE  (Read 3658 times)

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Offline nyc_guy1990

  • New Member
  • Posts: 1
Atripla Queston and the UAE
« on: May 05, 2012, 01:59:41 PM »
Hi all, newly diagnosed on April 5, 2012.  Just started Atripla last night, and whew, I see what everyone means by the groggy feeling. CD4 was 354 and VL was 7,500.

My question was this:  My parents are moving to Abu Dhabi, and I would like to visit them at least once a year.  Before I told my doctor this and before starting Atripla, she told me that starting and stopping was inadvisable because the virus could "do that thing it does" and mutate. 

After my bloodwork, I inquired whether I would be able to start Atripla and then stop for a week to travel there, she said that would be fine.

I was like: Wait what?   ???  First you told me I should not start and stop and then you say I can?

Obviously, I can not bring the pills with me to the UAE, because I run the risk of being put right back on the plane and shipped back to NY.  If anyone has traveled there with their meds or without their meds, I would love to hear your input.  And if anyone knows anything about not taking the pill for this long, does it interfere with what it is trying to do?

My second question is regarding FOTO, but there should be enough information in these forums for me to made an educated decision.  But if anyone has any extra insight on FOTO, let's hear it.

Thank you!

Offline 2manyquestions

  • Member
  • Posts: 18
Re: Atripla Queston and the UAE
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2012, 03:40:10 PM »
I wonder this myself... Ive heard of people shipping them discreetly in advance to be sure that they arrive safely before you get there.

Maybe put the pills in a supplement bottle (i.e diet pills, vitamins, etc) or in a prescription bottle for non HIV meds that you have a script for.

Another option may be to crush the pills and put them in capsules.  I know they are less effective this way but it may be better than skipping a week (I would check though)

I would at least try to get the meds there.  Good luck and let us know how you fare!

Offline ruralguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 141
Re: Atripla Queston and the UAE
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 01:59:45 PM »
I travel all over the world and I have never had any border agent ever look at Atripla bottles, much less ask "what is this for.."  Sometimes I'm gone for months and carry 3-4 bottles of it. 

To reduce your concern, buy some Centrum daily vitamins, dump them and use the bottle for as many tablets as you need for your trip.  They look a lot like Centrum tablets which are the same color.
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 Plus30

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
Re: Atripla Queston and the UAE
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 03:32:32 PM »
I have had pills and supplements with me going on trips and never had anyone ask what they were. I even had them on my carry on bags. But buying the vitamins sounds like a good idea to keep your Atripla in there.

About stopping, I was strongly advised against stopping - especially for as long as a week when you are just beginning. I was told that is a drug "holiday" and you run the risk of building resistance to Atripla (and from what my Dr told me you build resistance to all the medication in that same class).
I just came off Atripla because it made me feel weak and tired all the time, and I had weird vivid dreams every single night. I didn't stop taking meds for a break - which I was hoping for, my Dr switched me right to Truvada/Viramune the next day so I wouldn't build resistance.

...............CD4   %    VL
05/04/07   Tested Positive
10/24/07   343   18   141,000
03/12/08   327   17   120,000
05/08/08   286   13   16,529  Started Atripla
07/16/08   325   14   282 
10/14/08   317   19   72
06/10/09   392   21   <48
04/15/10   385   23   <48 New Dr
09/10/10   430   33   <48
11/29/10   540   28   <20
04/11/11   580   29   <20
06/24/11   465   31   70
01/06/12   427   26   <20
04/12/12   378   23   <20 Change to Truvada/Viramune
05/15/12   461   30   <20
10/02/12   678   28   <20
02/22/13   720   27   <20

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 13,367
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Atripla Queston and the UAE
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 05:53:50 PM »
Please clarify.
First your doc wisely told you the standard protocol - NO BREAKS.  FOTO is not a one week break, by the way.
Then, your doc said OK for one week breaks.
And you asked for clarification.
And you got none?
Or didn't bother to tell us here?
Docs shouldn't be so casual and flip floppy and they should, anyway, provide full explanation to important questions such as yours.

If you are only visiting UAE, whats the problem carrying a dozen pills? 

Do your parents know you are HIV+?

Tell your mom or pop to carry in a bottle to keep for you there, if you dont want to travel yourself with your pills.   In the worst case scenario you are imagining, which seems highly improbable, if your mom was questioned for some unlikey reason about having some Atripla, she's not HIV+, so what can they do to her?

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline lost_boy

  • Member
  • Posts: 105
Re: Atripla Queston and the UAE
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2012, 06:57:31 PM »
Problem with UAE is that it has a very zero tolerance policy to bringing drugs into the country. Unfortunately, a lot of medications seem to fall into this category too.

There's plenty of websites discussing this problem, and I actually phoned the Dubai border agency at the airport to ask about it. Now, while they don't like you bringing drugs into the country, 99% of people are not questioned. And if you are, bring a letter from your doctor to the effect that you require this medication. If it makes you more comfortable, stick it in a non-HIV specific bottle (vitamins or some such), and the doctor's note can say it is for a heart condition or some such. Also, if you are just a tourist for a week or so and can prove it, I highly doubt you will come to any grief.

You are not bringing in ecstasy pills or jars and jars of the stuff, so you should be fine :)

I used to worry as I transit through Dubai and am away for several weeks with work, so have a high quantity of pills with me, but I got around this by checking in my bags through Dubai, so I did not have to take them into the country itself. Just be sensible!


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