Travelling Abroad to Get PrEP

If you are living in a country where PrEP is not readily available or where PrEP is prohibitively expensive, then you might want to consider travelling abroad and bringing it back home with you. In the Asia-Pacific region, PrEP is available and most easily accessible in Thailand, Vietnam Taiwan-- although there are also other places you can go to source PrEP locally. You can also check out our PrEP MAP to find out more on the availability and accessibility of PrEP by country.

Travelling abroad to get PrEP can be a readily affordable option.  Not including airfare, hotel, and travel related cost of visiting a local clinic, you can start PrEP treatment in Thailand for as low as THB 4,500 (150 USD).

This includes THB 3,400 for doctor consultation and an  HIV/Syphilis/Hepatitis-B, kidney function test and THB1,100 for a 30-day supply of Teno-EM (Thai generic version of Truvada).

For many people, this may actually end up being the only realistic and affordable option to accessing PrEP.

If you are thinking about travelling abroad to get PrEP here are a few other things that you may want to keep in mind:

  • Be aware of restrictions BOTH of the country you are entering and exiting and the country you are entering! Most countries will allow you to carry PrEP, so long as it is for personal use. Typically this means a limited a 3-month supply but always double check. Japan, for example,  will only allow you to import a one-month regimen.  You don’t want your PrEP stash to be confiscated or destroyed by customs at the border!

  • PrEP is classified as a prescription medication, so carry your prescription with you. If possible, try and make sure that the name on your prescription matches the name on your medication (and, if possible, the name on your travel documents too!!) Some international providers of PrEP will be willing to write an official travel letter for you, stating that this is YOUR medication and it is prescribed to YOU for YOUR personal use. You can let your provider know that you are traveling and ask them if they are able to provide any additional documentation.

  • Some countries may have draconian laws towards people living with HIV and may suspect you of being HIV positive as a result of carrying PrEP. In these cases, it may also be important for the letter to also state what PrEP is used for. You can check which countries have travel restrictions on people living with HIV here.

  • If you travel for PrEP, make a plan to check back in with a doctor three-months after starting on PrEP. After three months, you should get tested again for HIV as well as other STIs. Remember PrEP only prevents HIV, not other sexually transmitted infections!

You can check out our PrEP MAP for some more information on where to get PrEP in Asia-Pacific.