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Travel Tips for People with HIV

by Nancy Wongvipat, M.P.H.

December 1998

1. Pack your pills first.

(Use resealable plastic bags; relabeled film cans; or a pocket-sized plastic tackle box.) Your pills are not replaceable if you forget them, so pack them first on your list of things to pack. It is also a good idea to take a two-day backup supply of your meds just in case your travel schedule changes unexpectedly.


2. Pack your pills in a carry-on bag.

Do not pack your pills in a bag that you check in since your pills will not be readily accessible due to a flight delay or they may not be waiting for you at your destination!


3. Never travel without your own supply of food and water.


4. Adjust your dosing schedule according to the number of time zones you cross.

As you travel from west to east (such as from L.A. to New York), take each successive dose of your meds one hour earlier than you usually do. When you travel from east to west, you reverse this process by adding an hour between dosing cycles. (Taking your doses an hour earlier, or an hour later, than usual falls well within the approved range for adherence to your assigned dosing regimen.)


5. Remember that you are not at home.

To avoid missing any of your doses or leaving your medications behind, it helps to travel with fluorescent Post-Its. Stick them on places that you must visit frequently throughout the day (such as your suitcase, hotel room key, dresser top) to remind you to take every dose and to take yours pills with you when you leave.


When you travel outside of the United States . . .


This article has been reprinted at The Body with the permission of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).




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