Traveling and HIV

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 8:15 AM

Hello Pozzie, its been a while since I last posted here in your blog, the last time that i was worrying about my health. But now im back in track ang living a normal life.

This September i will be travelling for a week in Indonesia, i am little bit worried about carrying Arv's with me. I am a backpacker and do not have a check in luggage.

What is the best thing to do aince i will be carrying medicins with me? Hopefully i can get an answer before my flight.

Stay healthy. Thanks and God bless



Hi r13jcb.

Thank you for writing again and thank you for giving us an update on your health.

It really gladdens my heart when I hear people who have been helped by the blog that they are living their lives happily and in good health. There is this sense of fulfilment when those who were worrying before are now successful with their jobs and enjoying their relationships, as if nothing had happened. The greatest success of the Project Red Ribbon Care Management Program (TRR) which is represented by the blog is knowing that the quality of life of PLHIV has been immensely changed for the better. 

Like what I always tell people, having HIV is hard at first, but as months pass by, it is easy to deal with, as long as one follows his or her doctor and will have faith in themselves that everything will be alright. I personally have experienced a lot of people who before, were almost suicidal, were always crying but after counseling, realizing that all the fears and heartaches will just go away, after attending group activities of TRR, their transformations were outstanding. Now they are so lively and empowered when they attend all our support groups, and paying back and helping others to live their lives again.

Now going back to your question, first of all, backpacking to a foreign country is fun. I for one, love to travel. However, us PLHIVs always fear that we will be stopped by the immigration to the foreign countries if we are carrying our ARV's. What's more scary is when we go to Arab countries or Muslim countries where HIV is mostly forbidden.

I have assisted a lot of readers about this predicament. In your case, since you are a backpacker and not carrying any checkin luggages, I assume you won't be staying that long in the country where you will be going, that is in Indonesia. The technique is quite easy. Just put your ARV's in pillboxes and put them in your carry on. Our ARV's are not noticeable and may be assumed as common vitamins so just don't cramp them in one bottle. You may also combine them with other travel medicines like, paracetamol, imodium, ibuprofen or roll aids, grouped in separate containers in the pill box. This is easier to conceal as these are over the counter medicines.

For long travels though, I advice that you get a prescription of your ARV's from your HIV doctor. It is better to be ready just in case immigration asks you as of course you will be carrying a lot of medicines for your long stay in their country. In this case it is better to be honest and upfront if there is an interrogation. Of course like what I said, it is quite scary if you carry a lot of ARV's especially if you only have your carry on and no check in luggage, so if I were you, just have one check in luggage where you can put the rest of your medicines.

Safe travels, my dear brother and continue living your life to the fullest. May your journey be an inspiration to the others, proving that even after diagnosis, life goes on.

Stay healthy.

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