OBJECTIVES: Pre-travel counselling has demonstrated its efficacy in decreasing travel-related health complications. The current profile of people living with HIV (PLWH) in Europe [increasing age, visiting friends and relatives (VFR)] makes pre-travel counselling crucial. We aimed to survey the self-reported travel patterns and advice-seeking behaviour among PLWH followed up at the HIV Reference Centre (HRC) of Saint-Pierre Hospital, Brussels.
METHODS: A survey was conducted in all PLWH presenting at the HRC from February to June 2021. The survey covered demographic elements, travel and pre-travel consultation habits over the last 10 years, or since the diagnosis of HIV if it was made less than 10 years earlier.
RESULTS: The survey was completed by 1024 PLWH (35% women, median age 49 years, the majority being virologically controlled). A substantial number of PLWH were involved in VFR travel in low-resource countries and 65% sought pre-travel advice before travelling: if not, it was because they did not know it was necessary (91%).
CONCLUSION: Travel is common among PLWH. Raising awareness of the importance of pre-travel counselling should be a routine part of every healthcare encounter and especially during regular contact with HIV physicians.
- HIV Infections/epidemiology
- Middle Aged
- Travel-Related Illness