To keep you healthy on your holidays we’ve answered your questions on sexual health abroad. Take a look before you travel.
Do travel vaccines cover any sexually transmitted diseases?
It’s not just your usual travel vaccines that you might need when you go abroad. You can also get vaccines for hepatitis A and B, which can be transmitted through sex.
There’s been a recent outbreak of hepatitis A in the UK. Hepatitis A is highly infectious causing inflammation of the liver, with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea and a flu-like illness. It can be spread by rimming and fucking.
Men who have sex with more than one male partner are at particularly high risk and some cases have been linked to guys from the UK shagging on holiday in Spain and other European countries.
You can get the vaccine in any travel clinic or at your GP’s.
Should I take condoms with me?
Condom quality and availability vary worldwide. If you don’t want a dodgy condom that could break, take condoms marked with British kite mark or CE, European code mark with you – and make sure that they are in date. Old rubber is no good.
Can I get a sexual health check up on holiday?
If you’ve had any risky sex close to your holiday date it’s a good idea to get a checkup before you go. The last thing you need is a sore dick or ass while you’re away as you may struggle to find services or treatment on holiday.
Accessing healthcare while you’re away depends very much on your destination. Make sure you have all the information you need about accessing medical care in the country you are travelling to before you travel. See the NHS travel website for details.
Despite the Brexit vote we’re still in the EU for a while. If you’re travelling within the European Economic Area (EEA) or to Switzerland, make sure you get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
This means that you will be entitled to free or reduced-cost medical care in these countries as long as you have got your EHIC.
Can I take PREP meds in my suitcase?
The medications used for PREP are the same as for HIV. This used to cause complications as people with HIV were banned from travelling to some countries and carrying meds could mean answering lots of questions.
Thankfully few countries still ban tourist travel for people with HIV so travelling with HIV meds and PREP is easier.
Countries that could cause issue include:
- Equatorial Guinea
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Check out these tips from HIV travel: http://hivtravel.org/Default.aspx?pageId=169
Tips to consider when travelling as a tourist or on business trips with PREP:
- Always carry your medication in your hand luggage. Checked luggage might get lost or delayed.
- Always take some extra medication with you. You might not return as planned, for unforeseeable reasons.
- You may have to check specific customs regulation for importing your medication. In almost all cases, importing medicines for personal use would not pose a problem. To be on the safe side, carry a doctor’s prescription with you if you can. The prescription should make no mention of sexual health.
- Carry your medication in original packaging, labelled with your name.
- You don’t need to discuss sexual health with customs or immigration officials – it is not their business.