Travel-related health issues are largely the same for HIV-positive people with good immune systems and HIV-negative people.
But if you have a weak immune system travel can be more problematic. In addition, there are some issues that every HIV-positive traveller should think about, such as access to medical care.
Going to a foreign country can be a highly enjoyable, even exciting, experience. But if things go wrong a trip can soon become daunting.
It's always a good idea to ask yourself if you're in good enough health to make a trip, and this is especially important if you've been recently unwell, have unusual symptoms, or have a weak immune system. If you have any doubt, try and speak to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team, or go for a check-up before setting off. If you are currently using any medications, ensure that you take an adequate supply with you, as they may be hard or impossible to obtain abroad. Medicines should be clearly labelled and, at some countries' customs and immigration points, it will help to have a doctor's letter stating that you need the treatments. There’s a lot more information on travelling with your medication in the section Travel.
It is sensible to research local medical facilities before travelling to another country, particularly if local medical care is likely to be relatively poor.
Make sure that you have the right travel and medical insurance. Most policies won’t cover medical conditions that you know were aware of when you took out the policy. For more on travel insurance, see the section Travel.
Coughs are a common problem among travellers, and you may be at particular risk during air travel, when large numbers of people are confined in a small space, breathing recirculated air.
Travellers' diarrhoea is usually caused by the contamination of food or water with faecal bacteria by people who have not washed their hands. It affects about 40% of travellers to developing countries, even when they have perfectly intact immune systems, and can be a particular problem for people with HIV. The most common cause of diarrhoea after travelling is giardiasis, which can be treated quite easily in people with HIV.