Do your research
If you are heading overseas for a short holiday or an extended trip there are a few points to consider. Do your research before you go — it’s better to know the answers before you head off instead of trying to navigate a healthcare system in a foreign country, especially if you don’t speak the language.
- Your preferred condoms might not be readily available, so be sure to take plenty with you
- Check whether you can take your bottle of lube with you — there may be restrictions for travelling with large containers of liquids
- Ensure your vaccinations are up to date. STIs such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningococcal C and HPV can be vaccinated against, so discuss these with your doctor
- Be conscious of local laws and culture regarding acceptable behaviour, sexuality and sexual practices, including if you’re planning to travel with sex toys
- Get a sexual health check-up before you go and then also when you come back
- Learn words in other languages to help negotiate sexual safety and consent
- Understand whether the countries you’re visiting impose any entry restrictions for people living with HIV
- Understand whether the countries you’re visiting have any restrictions on travelling with PrEP or HIV treatment medication
Things to consider
When it comes to navigating international healthcare systems, it’s worth considering the following questions before travelling overseas:
- If you experience symptoms of an STI or a sexual partner has notified you, how might you access a medical service such as paying to see a doctor or sexual health clinic? Does your travel insurance policy include coverage for this?
- Is PEP available in your destination and how might you access it if needed?
- Is PrEP available in your destination and how might you access it if you needed to replace or top-up your supply?
- If you’re living with HIV, are your treatment medications available in your destination? How might you access them if you needed to replace or top-up your supply?
- Travel information and updates can be sourced from the Smartraveller website. Additionally, researching online, in travel forums or seeking advice from friends can help ensure you’re prepared for your trip.