U.S. HIV travel ban: September 2009 update….

The process for repealing the U.S. travel ban for people with HIV continues; we may not know the outcome of public comment for several months (though reports are that more than 20,000 comments were submitted – mostly in opposition to this ban).  In the meantime, we continue with the travel theme.

For those of us traveling with HIV to other countries, a few notes on planful travel (from the CDC):

  • Know your health status – are you well enough to travel?
  • Do you have enough medication for the length of your trip, or for extending the trip due to circumstances beyond your control?  Are they in appropriately marked containers?
  • Are you taking any medications that are controlled substances in any of the countries you plan to visit?
  • Ask your health care professional: are there vaccinations you should consider before travel?
  • Does your destination have limitations on travel with HIV/AIDS?  Some countries require testing, but predominantly for permanent residency requests or work visas. 
  • Register with the Department of State so your country knows you’re abroad.  They can notify family in case of medical or other emergencies. 
  • Take routine travel precautions: leave copies of your itinerary with family, as well as passport data and other crucial information.   Take care while traveling, and consider environmental conditions that may exacerbate other health conditions.
  • Know what medical facilities you may need to access while abroad: are there facilities that your provider could recommend?

While Vermont CARES has made clear our opposition to the U.S. ban against HIV-positive travelers , other countries have similar bans too.  Planning for travel considerations will make for happier and healthier trips.  Visit the CDC’s website for travel advisories and advice:  www.cdc.gov and click on “Travelers’ Health.”

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