Essential Travel Tips for HIV Positive Tourists

Travelling with HIV can be difficult because it takes you out of the normal routine that you follow at home to tend to your health. Plus, catching flights and going to new places can be a little stressful if you’re not fully prepared with the right provisions and mindset, so that can add to the difficulty at times. While most developed countries don’t have any travel restrictions for people suffering with HIV, there are some countries that do, including but not limited to the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Jordan, Qatar, and Yemen. Luckily, most places that you would actually want to visit aren’t on the list, but regardless of your destination, be sure to keep the following tips in mind:

Consider Your Medication First

With so much going on during your trip, it can be easy to forget some of your medication or slip on your pill-taking schedule. Taking a lackadaisical approach to this step could result in the virus proliferating more than normal and/or you contracting an illness during your trip. The last thing you want is to be feeling sick when you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself, so before you leave it’s best to make sure you have all of your medications packed and planned the same way you would any other day. Likewise, keep your pills in a carry bag – never in a suitcase – as losing your luggage or even experiencing luggage delay could have serious consequences. According to a report in Council Chronicle, a new class of miracle drugs may soon be able to replace all those pills with a single medication, but until then it’s best to keep the whole regimen on your person.

Adjusting Dosage Schedule Based on Time Zone Changes

Many experts recommend adjusting your dosage schedule by one hour earlier or later depending on which direction you’re travelling. So, if you’re flying west to east, you would take your pills one hour sooner than you normally would, whereas if you were flying from east to west you would take them one hour later than usual. Of course, these adjustments aren’t needed when you’re only travelling from north to south or vice versa.

Avoid Certain Foods and Beverages When Travelling Abroad

Certain food and beverage types should be avoided when you’re travelling, especially if you’re going to a developing country. Stay away from raw vegetables and fruits in these areas, and try to use boiled and/or filtered water for drinking and brushing your teeth. It’s also best to avoid food items sold by street vendors or in open markets, as well as any kind of dairy products – especially those that are unpasteurized.

Your Health is the Highest Priority

In closing, while the excitement of the trip can sometimes cloud your judgement, it’s imperative to remember that your medication and well-being are the top priority. You may even want to use apps to set reminders and review your plan before leaving for departure.


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