Academy Exchange

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  • 1.  Safety of travelling internationally with HIV medications

    Posted 02-13-2023 18:01

    One of my patients had a frightening experience going to India while travelling with Biktarvy.  He was detained at the airport because of the Biktarvy, had to pay several bribes to the agents and was even followed and assaulted in the weeks following.  He eventually laid low until until he could fly back to the US. 

    Any words of caution on other countries where your PLWH have had problems specifically due to having HIV?  Other clever workarounds for patients? (Cabenuva wasn't an option at the time)

    Thank you. 

    Joshua Rohr
    Seattle WA

  • 2.  RE: Safety of travelling internationally with HIV medications

    Posted 02-15-2023 12:06
    Thanks for sharing. I have a travel medicine clinic and I'm unaware of this experience. While of course inexcusable I'm at least hopeful that there was something else about your patient's interaction with the immigration officials that led to the discovery that Biktarvy was even present.
    Certainly prejudice and bigotry are universally present in all cultures but India has been less an issue with HIV stigma than other destinations. My general approach with patients such as this is to ensure they understand that many people throughout the world do not share their belief in the dignity of self-expression let alone recognize it as a right and it may be easier to present superficial self to immigration authorities than one that may appear to be concerning to the immigration official.
    David M. Bebinger, MD
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