Taking PrEP When Travelling Overseas

Travelling With PrEPIn this video I wanted to explain the best way to take PrEP when travelling, in particular when you are crossing time zones.

As noted in previous videos, Truvada for PrEP is a robust treatment and occasional changes in time of dosing will not have a major impact on it’s protection against HIV.

I recommend all people continue to take the medication at the same time they would normally take the  medication.

  • If you take your PrEP in the morning continue to take it in the morning.
  • If you take it before bed continue to take it before bed.

When changing time zones the trick is:

  • If it’s been less than 12 hours since your last tablet but it’s the time you would normally take it at your new destination, skip this one dose and take the next dose at the time you would normally take it.
  • If it’s been more than 12 bours since your last dose and it’s now the time you take the medication in your new time zone, take the tablet and continue to take the medicine at the same time each day.

For Example…
If I am flying to the USA from Australia, I take my PrEP in the morning before I head to the airport.
My flight is usually around lunch and then it’s a 14h flight to the USA.
Normally I arrive at the morning in the USA when I would normally take my PrEP. On this day as it’s been more than 12h since the tablet (acuatlly pretty close to 20 hours), I just take the PrEP and continue to take it at the same time each day.

I hope this has helped explain this process.

Also of note, when travelling be sure to carry your medications in the bottle it was supplied with your name and drug information on the sticker.

I like to carry a letter from my doctor as well explaining why I am taking the drug.

Remember some countries have laws around people living with infections such as HIV so it can be helpful to have this letter to explain whey you are taking PrEP.

Of course if you have any questions, be sure to talk with your doctor before heading over seas.

Happy Travels!

Dr George Forgan-Smith

Hi guys. It’s Dr. George at Forgan Smith, from ispreforme.com. And today I want to answer the quick question about how do you deal with taking PrEP when you’re travelling overseas? In particular, when there’s significant changes in timezones. Now PrEP is a very robust system. There’s a lot of leeway in there. So what I would recommend is the following. If you take the tablet at the same time every day, i.e. in the morning, just continue taking it in the morning. Say for example, if you’re flying from Australia to America, you could take it the morning before you fly. And when you get to America, often you’ll arrive in the morning as well. If it is has been less than 12 hours since the last tablet you took, I would just leave it and take the next tablet the same time you normally would. But if it’s been more than 12 hours, don’t worry about it. Just take the tablet at the same time you normally would.
​So if that sounds a little bit confusing, if you take it in the morning, just continue taking the tablet in the morning. If you take it at night, continue taking the tablet at night. If there is a bit of an extension between tablets, say it’s been 26 to 28 hours between tablets, it’s okay. You will still be very well protected against HIV with your daily PrEP tablets. Of course, if you have any questions, worries or concerns, be sure to talk with your doctor before you travel. Other important travel tips when you’re travelling with PrEP is, it’s important, keep your PrEP in the bottle that it was provided with, with the sticker that has your name on it.
​That’s important so you can prove that it’s a prescribed medicine for you. The other thing is that it might be worthwhile considering getting a letter from your doctor, that explains the medication and why you are taking it. In some countries in the world, there can be medial legal issues if you are HIV positive. So it is important that you have some sort of letter that explains that you are not HIV positive. You are taking PrEP as a prevention tool. So these are important things to be aware of before you’re travelling with medications like PrEP. Hope this is helpful. Have a good one.