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marijauan use
Nov 6, 2007

Hello Dr. Frascino, I was just recently diagnosed as being HIV positive, My fiance has tested negative but has to go through the testing for the next six months, although her firs two test were negative. I smoke mariajuana as a recreational use and has done so since I was young. My lab results are DC4 cells in the 400's and my viral count is 3000ish, will smoking marijauan lower my dc4 cells and what effect does it has with the virus. Please let me know for I'm having a hard time believing that I'm positive especially after being so careful who I sleep with and not sleep around.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Sparking doobies in moderation will not adversely affect your CD4 cell count. Marijuana does not affect the virus. I'll post some information from the archives below that addresses this topic.

Regarding your recent HIV diagnosis, being careful "who" you sleep with is only part of the story as to how to avoid becoming "virally enhanced." Equally important is "how" you sleep with them. Latex condoms are essential in preventing HIV transmission.

Dr. Bob

marijuana Jun 27, 2005

is marijuana safe to use with meds? Do you believe there are any significant risks with using it socially about 3 or 4 times a year?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Is this a trick question? Are you from the Justice Department? What with all the raids on medical marijuana clubs, one can't be too careful these days.

To answer your question, there are no significant drug interactions between HIV meds and marijuana. Chronic long-term smoking of anything can lead to lung and/or heart disease. The primary risks I see from socially partaking in toking Mary Jane are that:

1. You might get so stoned that you forget to take your HIV meds, because you're so busy chortling at Seinfeld reruns.

2. You might get nauseous from the interaction of munching too many Doritos and Ding Dongs simultaneously.

One last thing: if you are from the Justice Department, I don't know nothing about that plant in my backyard.

Dr. Bob

Smokin Weed part deux May 2, 2007

About your statement that there is no scientific data that smoking marijauna is harmful, ludacris. There may not be any data but I have many friends in their 20's toking away with significant hairloss, I wonder if there is any significant data about that? Also, I just saw on the news smoking tobacco the burning of an "organic substance", is attributed to the many diseases associated with smoking, from the tar which is also found in marijauna smoke. It also stated the risk of TB, which we all have a higher risk of with impaired immune system is higher, along with emphysema and many other lung problems. Now I do realize the appetite aspect of marijauna is invaluable to someone going through that situation, but other than that I don't see how you could just say there is no scientific data against smoking mary j. Marinol comes to mind, rather than saying toke away. There is plenty of data and plain old common sense and observation, whether or not it is acceptable sounds like more the case here. Thanks love your articles, weed capital of NC.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello

"Ludacris????" Isn't he a rapper? Other than being a stoner, what does he have to do with this topic? Perhaps you meant that my statement that there is no scientific data that smoking marijuana is harmful to HIVers was LUDICROUS!?!? Of course then you immediately go on to state "there may not be any data but . . . ." I could rest my case right there, but what follows is just too precious to pass up. "There may not be any data but I have many friends in their 20s toking way with significant hair loss . . . !!!!" Dude, that you have some Rogaine-Failures as buds who also happen to spark the occasional doobie doesn't constitute scientific data! At best, it a weak observational association, not a cause and effect relationship. Let me give you another observational association. Every fall birds in New England migrate south for the winter. Three weeks after they head south it snows in New England. By your type of "science," you could conclude migrating birds cause snow in New England! You see it happen every year, right? Birds fly south and then BINGO, it snows! Therefore birds cause snow. See what I mean?

Will sucking on a bong make you a cue ball? No, there is no scientific data to support this.

As to your other point about burning organic substances, tobacco leaves and marijuana leaves are two very different plants. Tobacco is the more deleterious due to its addictive potential and its documented relationship to lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. Can inhaling marijuana smoke have some deleterious effects? I would assume inhaling any type of smoke would not be beneficial to the sinuses and lungs; however, the question that was asked was whether lighting up the "occasional joint" would interfere with the efficacy of HIV medication. Once again I stick by my answer: there is no scientific data that I'm aware of indicating there are any HIV drug-marijuana interactions. Perhaps you would be more comfortable with a qualified statement, like there is no scientific data that smoking weed is any more harmful in HIVers than in the general population. (Note the biggest risk for all tokers remains getting caught by the ridiculous and indefensible inclusion of pot in our crazed "war on drugs.)

Yes, Marinol is synthetic THC and available by prescription. However, some folks don't respond as well to Marinol as to the "organic" variety of THC.

Hope that helps clarify things a bit.

Dr. Bob

grass and meds Apr 29, 2007

Hi, Thanks for your continued support and knowledge sharing. I'm currently taking Atripla and all my numbers look good. I don't drink, but would certainly enjoy and occasional joint (maybe both kinds). Does pot interfere with my meds efficacy? How about other types of HIV drugs - PI, etc? Thanks, Riley

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Riley,

No, I am not aware of any data that sparking a doobie interferes or interacts with HIV meds. Now stop bogarting that joint!

Dr. Bob


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