Travel Considerations for PLWH

General precautions

  • Delay travel until clinically stable and treatment established
  • Provide drug prescription and referral letter for emergencies
  • Provide medical certificate for import of personal medicines/syringes
  • Carry ARVs split between suitcase and hand luggage
  • Beware of fake drugs


  • Maintain hours of medicines (e.g. 23.00 local time) when switching time zones, shortening the interval to the next dose when flying east

Acknowledge increased susceptibility

Increased susceptibility of persons with HIV(i)

1. Observe food hygiene

  • Particularly important for travellers visiting friends and relatives (VFR)
  • Bacterial enterocolitis, e.g. diarrhoeagenic E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter
  • Opportunistic intestinal parasitosis Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Cystoisospora, Microsporidia

2. Prevent insect bites

  • Repellents (DEET ≥ 30%), spray clothing with insecticide (permethrin)
  • Sleep under insecticide-treated bednet
  • Malaria chemoprophylaxis/emergency standby treatment(ii) (to be taken with meals)
  • Yellow fever, see Vaccination
  • Leishmaniasis, beware of sand flies (dogs)

Advice on travel restrictions, see

  1. Higher intestinal susceptibility due to HIV-associated GALT destruction, low CD4 count. More severe malaria with CD4 count < 350 cells/μL
  2. According to malaria risk at travel destination and national guidelines adherence counselling is particularly important in persons visiting friends and relatives.
    See Drug-drug Interactions between Antimalarial Drugs and ARVs