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Author Topic: HIV Treatment in Thailand  (Read 2602 times)

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Offline Drifter

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HIV Treatment in Thailand
« on: June 12, 2019, 01:12:17 am »
Hi Guys,

I need your help in verifying how i can purchase Triumeq in Bangkok through the Thai Red Cross Anonymous clinic.  Basically I want to know the ff:

a) Can a foreigner buy HIV Meds Triumeq?
b) How many can i buy?
c) Do i need to get a prescription from a Thai doctor at the clinic or from my home country?
d) Do i need or will they require me to take tests?
e) Can i pay using my credit card?
f) What is the email address of the Thai Red Cross Anonymous Clinic?  Ive been looking for it but I can't find it.
g) How many days before I can get the meds?  Can it be done all in one day?

Thank you.  I really appreciate any insights/comments from you guys.


Regards,

Drifter


Offline Jim Allen

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 02:34:07 am »
Hiya.

Welcome to the forum.

There are a few threads on the Thai Red Cross that might contain some of the answers you are looking for and, perhaps some of the members using this service will chime in

https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=72218.msg
https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=72285.msg

Are you asking for yourself or is it for someone you know? Are you living with HIV? If so, are you on treatment & how are you getting on? What are your labs like?

Best, Jim
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
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Transmission and Risks:
HIV Transmission and Risks
Read more about Testing here:
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Read about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
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You can read about HIV prevention here:
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Read about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline Drifter

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2019, 09:32:58 am »
Hi Jim,

Thanks for the links.  I will read thru them.  To asnwer your questions:

Are you asking for yourself or is it for someone you know?
I am asking for myself

Are you living with HIV?
Yes, I am living with HIV.  I was diagnosed back in 2009.

If so, are you on treatment & how are you getting on?
I started to go on treatment when my CD4 count went down to 325.  I first took LTE and VL became undetectable and my CD4 count went up to 450.
 
As of December 2018 my CD4 is at 425 and when I migrated to the US in 2018 my IDS switched my medication to Triumeq. 

I am now working as a consultant in Manila (Philippines) and all we have here is LTE (Lamivudine, Tenofivir and Efavirenz)  My IDS here in Manila advised me not to go back to LTE and continue using Triumeq because she believes there is a high chance I will develop drug resistance if i switch back.

I was shocked when she told me this as my IDS in the US said I can switch back to LTE without a problem.

I am now down to my last bottle of Triumeq it will last me only until the end of June. From what I researched Bangkok has the cheapest price for Triumeq and I can travel between Bangkok and Manila easily due to its proximity.

Can you share to me your thoughts on swithcing between LTE and Triumeq?

Regards,

Drifter

 

 
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 09:45:13 am by Drifter »

Offline Genomity

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2019, 07:24:14 am »
The mentioned links by Jim are good but they don't answer some questions, like f) and g) and I myself would love to know more about it cause I'm going to Bangkok myself in July for the same reason as you, Drifter and so far in limbo on what and where and how.

It's hard to plan a trip when you just know the address of the Thai Red Cross hospital and nothing else. About their email address: I sent an email a few weeks ago and I used an email indicated on their web site but as I predicted no answer. I really would love to get some answers like:

1. Should I book an appointment or just walk in?
2. If I want to do the tests like VL and others as needed plus I wanna talk to a doctor on the meds I'm taking and on tests results and to buy the meds if needed - how many days I should plan to be in Bangkok for all of it? 7-10-more?

Could somebody who has done it pls share the info on that?

Offline Mindless

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2019, 11:15:05 am »
The mentioned links by Jim are good but they don't answer some questions, like f) and g) and I myself would love to know more about it cause I'm going to Bangkok myself in July for the same reason as you, Drifter and so far in limbo on what and where and how.

It's hard to plan a trip when you just know the address of the Thai Red Cross hospital and nothing else. About their email address: I sent an email a few weeks ago and I used an email indicated on their web site but as I predicted no answer. I really would love to get some answers like:

1. Should I book an appointment or just walk in?
2. If I want to do the tests like VL and others as needed plus I wanna talk to a doctor on the meds I'm taking and on tests results and to buy the meds if needed - how many days I should plan to be in Bangkok for all of it? 7-10-more?

Could somebody who has done it pls share the info on that?


Hi, I live in Bkk and am a user of Thai Red Cross but unfortunately donít have all the answers to your questions (maybe some fellow farang will chime in).

As far as I know:

f) I donít know if they have one but you can try to call, numbers should on the website. If you donít find them, tell me and I will post here
g) If you have a valid prescription, you just walk in and leave in about 20/30 min (depending on the queue) with your meds

You donít need an appointment to buy meds or lab test, thereís a standard queue numbering system. Not sure about the appointment with a doctor because I use one at a hospital. Btw, you need to register yourself (anonymously) and get a card to use the services, itís free and fast.

All in all, if you consider to have the lab test done at Thai Red Cross then you have to wait up to 1 week (5 working days but usually they are ready before) for the results. In this case you can plan letís say 10 days for the whole process or 2 weeks to be more relaxed.

Another option could be to buy a flexible return ticket: more expensive but you change return date according to what happens.

Good luck



« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 11:17:25 am by Mindless »

Offline Genomity

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2019, 09:22:59 pm »

Hi, I live in Bkk and am a user of Thai Red Cross but unfortunately donít have all the answers to your questions (maybe some fellow farang will chime in).

As far as I know:

f) I donít know if they have one but you can try to call, numbers should on the website. If you donít find them, tell me and I will post here
g) If you have a valid prescription, you just walk in and leave in about 20/30 min (depending on the queue) with your meds

You donít need an appointment to buy meds or lab test, thereís a standard queue numbering system. Not sure about the appointment with a doctor because I use one at a hospital. Btw, you need to register yourself (anonymously) and get a card to use the services, itís free and fast.

All in all, if you consider to have the lab test done at Thai Red Cross then you have to wait up to 1 week (5 working days but usually they are ready before) for the results. In this case you can plan letís say 10 days for the whole process or 2 weeks to be more relaxed.

Another option could be to buy a flexible return ticket: more expensive but you change return date according to what happens.

Good luck

Thank you for posting, still have questions:

1. You said "Not sure about the appointment with a doctor because I use one at a hospital" - you mean at TRC Hospital? Do you make an appointment each time to that doctor?
2. Phone numbers - I tried to call the numbers listed on their web site - could not get through.
3. About registration: register how and where? Online? And I'll get a card? What card?

Offline Mindless

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2019, 09:35:50 am »
Thank you for posting, still have questions:

1. You said "Not sure about the appointment with a doctor because I use one at a hospital" - you mean at TRC Hospital? Do you make an appointment each time to that doctor?
2. Phone numbers - I tried to call the numbers listed on their web site - could not get through.
3. About registration: register how and where? Online? And I'll get a card? What card?

1. I have a dr. at Bumrungrad hospital (one of the many private hospitals in Bkk), you can go there as well or to any other private hospital with hiv specialists. Most of them you can even book an appointment online through their website

2. I have these, you can give it a try 02-2516711-5 ext.200, 103

3. At the desk at Thai Red Cross reception, just when you get in. You register anonymously and get a plastic card with an identification nr. Just like any other ďfidelityĒ card (eg. Supermarket/Restaurant chains etc.)

Hugs

Offline Mindless

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2019, 09:39:54 am »
BTW,

I just found an email address for Thai Red Cross, I had it on a note I forgot cause never used it: wellness.plus@trcarc.org


Good luck

Offline Expat1

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2019, 06:21:31 pm »
Triumeq is pricey in Thailand.  About $400 for a one month supply.  Far cheaper is Genvoya at around 2900 Thai baht (around $90 for a months supply). I am on generic version of Complera for which the cost is around $40 per month at Thai red (although I get mine at a Private Hospital and pay around $100 monthly.)

If you have been undetectable since you first got to undetectable, you should not be resistant to any drugs.  So the switch back should be ok.  (I am not a doctor however.) This is an opinion not medical advice.  After a switch, one local doctor confirms the switch works with follow up testing of Viral Load at one month post switch and again 3 months later then back to every 4-6 months.

There are pharmacy companies in India that mail to Philippines.    Ward on this site flew to India and obtained generic medicine.  In India it is under $100 per month.

Bring your test results with you.  If you can get a prescription written in Philippines, Thai Red Cross may honor it.  The prescription should include the Dr name, license, affiliated hospital.  The Thai Red Cross has a nighttime clinic with doctors.  The day clinic does STD testing and treatment as well as pharmacy.  I would get the prescription for both Genvoya and Triumeq so you have a choice based on price.

Bring  you medical history with you.  So you dont have to repeat tests.


Offline turkey

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2019, 04:31:35 pm »
hello expact1
can you please,tell.me if the genvoya is original from Gilead for 90$ or is it generic version ?  can I get 1,year,suply at once,12 nlBottles?  is prescription from overseas is ok?  will appreciate if you,reply.   best,regards

Offline Expat1

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2019, 07:56:30 pm »
Look we told you it is original already. 

We told you where to go.

You stated that you currently buy Genvoya for $400 per month.  Here it is Slightly less than $100 per month. 

Were you are now, you have the script.  You know the doctors.  ETC

If you come to Thailand, you have to navigate a new medical system.   It is not easy.  But we explained it.

Personally it seems to me that navigating a new countries medical system, and the cost differences  (you are not paying the full tab for Genvoya that people in most of Europe and the US pay which is around $3000 per month), so you currently pay $4800 per year.   If you go to Thailand the cost of the meds alone are  cheaper at around $1100 per year.  But you still need the doctor support.  You will need to pay for hotels and airfares, and at the end of the day, you could fly back to Turkey and the local customs guard in Turkey could confiscate the entire shipment.  (I dont know the local customs regs for Turkey and importing drugs for personal use.)  Seriously for someone from the US who is perhaps over the obamacare limits for income and ADAP,  flying to Thailand makes sense.  If he buys 6 months of meds, the customs person may decided that he can only bring 3 months worth and he my get half the meds confiscated.   The customs officials dont open most bags so mostly they get in.   

I flew into Istanbul and Izmir and it seemed to me that everyone was getting searched.  All bags were opened.  Cameras were taken apart.   ETC.   It was not exactly the same as flying into Los Angeles.  So a word...

It would probably be better to source your drugs locally where you are currently.   There are companies in India that will ship small supplies of hiv meds into Turkey  (look at the sites listed on iwantprepnow.com)  rather than risk coming to Thailand on such a tight budget to save $2000 per year.  The economics doesnt work especially if you risk forfeiture of the  meds at customs.

Talk to your doctor to get a cheaper med, like generic atripla (there is no cheap generic for genvoya) and get the cheaper drug mailed to you from India or supplied locally in Turkey. 

Good luck.  Any other questions send me a private message. 

Offline turkey

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2019, 05:59:06 am »
hi and thanks so much for your help.
first I want to apologize for asking same questions many times but I realy didnt understand thsts why asked.  and I also want to apologize cause I couldn't find how to send you private messages.

I realy appreciate your advise.  what do you think if instead of carrying 12 boxes of meds just to open them and combine them into 2 or 3 boxes? or,maybe shipping some by mail? I do have prescription from turkey which will allow me getting them. beside they dont realy sesrch for such things this days. 
my friend if I arrive to Thailand do I need to see a doctor yo get it or what the procedure is it hard will it take long?
I have emailed to the email on top wellness.plus is that the thai red cross?  I got an answer saying you can only get 3 months suply at once.   is the 12 months still relevent? I'm attaching what they wrote.  is the generic medication you advised good like the genvoya ? is the price lower then 100$ do you know or maybe is,also vost few hundred here. sorry if I asked to much . looking forward hearing from you.

Dear Sir,

For Genvoya on now, you can buy a maximum 3  months and the price on Monday  -  friday 08.30 am. - 04.00pm  2580  baht

Saturday 08.30 am. - 04.00pm.  2838 baht + 120 baht 

Kind regards,

Fai



Offline virgo313

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2019, 08:35:20 am »
I realy appreciate your advise.  what do you think if instead of carrying 12 boxes of meds just to open them and combine them into 2 or 3 boxes? or,maybe shipping some by mail? I do have prescription from turkey which will allow me getting them. beside they dont realy sesrch for such things this days.

No one can advise you on this. you know better as you live if Turkey. There is always a risk that they check & take away your med.

my friend if I arrive to Thailand do I need to see a doctor yo get it or what the procedure is it hard will it take long?

Bring along the Dr letter & results like VL, CD4. I mean bring all docouments you can get before travel.
If they say you still need to see a Dr, you will need to go through the process of doing results in Bangkok

I have emailed to the email on top wellness.plus is that the thai red cross?  I got an answer saying you can only get 3 months suply at once.   is the 12 months still relevent?

Ask them again if you can buy 12 months.

is the generic medication you advised good like the genvoya ?

There is NO generic genvoya.

Thanks

RVD Nov 2015. VL --> Log 5.32 HAART on 23/11/15
TDF+FTC+EFV / Chemo KS - 25/11/15 - 20/01/16.
CD4 - 4 (3/11/15) / VL - 225,000   ~ CD4 - 65 (7/03/16) / VL - UD
CD4 - 153 (8/09/16) / VL - UD (20) / CD4% -6%   ~   CD4 - 215 (11/03/17) / VL - No Result / CD4% -8%
CD4 - No Result (10/04/17) / VL - UD (20)   ~   CD4 - 455 (11/05/18) / VL - UD / CD4% -14%
CD4 + CD4% (18/10/18) - Dr not going to  do this anymore / VL - To test only yearly. This Sucks..!
CD4 - 472 (10/04/19) / VL - UD / CD4% - 42%

Offline frederick

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2019, 10:58:46 am »
Hi Jim,

Thanks for the links.  I will read thru them.  To asnwer your questions:

Are you asking for yourself or is it for someone you know?
I am asking for myself

Are you living with HIV?
Yes, I am living with HIV.  I was diagnosed back in 2009.

If so, are you on treatment & how are you getting on?
I started to go on treatment when my CD4 count went down to 325.  I first took LTE and VL became undetectable and my CD4 count went up to 450.
 
As of December 2018 my CD4 is at 425 and when I migrated to the US in 2018 my IDS switched my medication to Triumeq. 

I am now working as a consultant in Manila (Philippines) and all we have here is LTE (Lamivudine, Tenofivir and Efavirenz)  My IDS here in Manila advised me not to go back to LTE and continue using Triumeq because she believes there is a high chance I will develop drug resistance if i switch back.

I was shocked when she told me this as my IDS in the US said I can switch back to LTE without a problem.

I am now down to my last bottle of Triumeq it will last me only until the end of June. From what I researched Bangkok has the cheapest price for Triumeq and I can travel between Bangkok and Manila easily due to its proximity.

Can you share to me your thoughts on swithcing between LTE and Triumeq?

Regards,

Drifter
 

Hi Drifter. Were you able to purchase your meds from Thai Red Cross already? How was the experience? I'm also from PH and plan to purchase meds from Thai Red Cross early November..I was hoping to get some tips as I will only be in Thailand for 2 days.. Besides buying meds, I also plan on getting screened for abacavir hypersensitivity. Hoping to hear back from you soon.. TIA

Offline Expat1

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2019, 09:36:35 am »
Bring your test/lab results and the Prescription from your doctor.   Check a calendar to make sure it is not a Thai national holiday on the days you will be here.   IF  you cannot get the medicine at Thai Red Cross, also try Pulse Clinic, or a private hospital like Bangkok Christian or St. Louis.  Just drop into the outpatient clinic.  Take  your empty pill bottle with you also.  Private hospitals are more expensive.

You can send your labs email to Pulse clinic.  Ask if they can send meds to Philippines.
I think your country allows 3 months at a time mail order but you need to show the prescirption (to customs I think).

Offline frederick

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2019, 07:46:41 am »
Bring your test/lab results and the Prescription from your doctor.   Check a calendar to make sure it is not a Thai national holiday on the days you will be here.   IF  you cannot get the medicine at Thai Red Cross, also try Pulse Clinic, or a private hospital like Bangkok Christian or St. Louis.  Just drop into the outpatient clinic.  Take  your empty pill bottle with you also.  Private hospitals are more expensive.

You can send your labs email to Pulse clinic.  Ask if they can send meds to Philippines.
I think your country allows 3 months at a time mail order but you need to show the prescirption (to customs I think).

Hi Expat1. Thank you for the information. I'm already in touch with Pulse clinic. Their prices are indeed very high compared with TRC.. I also inquired possibility of shipping the meds to PH but they're unable to do so right now cause of issues with PH customs.

BTW, I'm wondering why there's a need to bring an empty pill bottle? 

Offline Mindless

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2019, 09:16:01 am »
Hi Fred,

I this email address for Thai Red Cross: wellness.plus@trcarc.org

Not sure if it works/they reply cause I live here and I never had the chance to use it.

You can give it a try though.

Good luck

PS: donít be mislead by the ďwellnessĒ thing in the email address, they use the same name on the member card they give you when you register yourself to get access to their services. BTW, registration is completely anonymous (and free), the card only has a number and the initials of your ďnameĒ (you can use whatever initials/name you want of course. Thatís the anonymity, there are no ID docs involved).
« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 09:24:25 am by Mindless »

Offline frederick

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2019, 02:55:05 pm »
Thanks Mindless :)

Offline Expat1

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Re: HIV Treatment in Thailand
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2019, 06:04:42 pm »
Empty bottle is in case of questions about your meds.  (Mostly if you are using one of the Outpatient clinics at the Hospitals to get a prescription.  Just makes it easier.) Once you establish a relationship with a hospital or doctor, it is not necessary.

 


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