RE: HIV drug availability, mailing *readers, please share your experiences
Oct 20, 2012
I have moved around various parts of my country, ( and met with doctors in a different country ) and have always found online and from local hospitals the best local hiv clinics, both private and public.
I have always since being diagnosed had a folder that has every test, CD4, CD8, VL and every other test I have had, including what types of meds I have been on, ( only 4 ).
Each time I have relocated and as I need to find a new clinic, I do my research first, and then attend to see the doctor (with my folder) which in itself is very comprehensive. ( mostly I research on the www and Via email and or phone )
All doctors i have seen, have never hesitated to accept me as a patient. I have at most clinics not had to pay for meds ( I am lucky ), just blood tests. Currently where I reside, I do have to pay a small fee for meds.
When I recently went on a working holiday to the UK, I made an appointment with a HIV clinic in Manchester. Took my folder and asked some questions ( to the best of the language issues )and had her review my folder and all my results, ( just to get a western perspective ) all was good, yet she suggested that I change form AZT to Tenofovir as she felt that it was better, as AZT for me may cause some long term Lipodystrophy. There and then even though I was not her patient she wrote a simple letter to my current doctor in my country suggesting the change and reasons why. ( I did pay for the 30 min consultation in Manchester ) ( there was no need for her to provide me with a prescription as I had enough meds for the remaining time in the UK )
I arrived back, and met up with my doctor, who was happy to do a resistance test on Tenofovir, and have been on this and another 2 meds since.
My CD4 his in its high 600's and VL UD.
I would as the doc said, mention the country and search places, clinics and hospitals that in the city you are moving to. ( Doc or Readers can help if you post ) Also get a copy of all your files and so forth, as this speeds up the process. You may and I would, get a referral from your current doctor to a "clinic" in the city/country you are moving too , to accompany your file.
As suggested to me in Manchester, if I travel make sure I have 3 months of meds in order to not rush things if I move again. Take all the complete fully enclosed genuine bottles, and or copies of prescriptions. ( for customs ) if they search and do not know what they are! ( some don't from my experience , yet if you have the paper work and genuine bottles normally a customs manager understands and is not a issue )
Shipping meds from the USA, you will still need from what I have read a prescription. And yet I am not sure the Internet drug companies will accept a prescription from a differing country? Apart from the huge costs and huge shipping fees from the usa, there may be issues with postage, and importing hiv drugs to many counties, this I too would look into ( due to sometimes customs seizures )
Hope this helps.
Response from Dr. Young
You're posts are always full of valuable information.
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