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Is any amount of alcohol safe?
May 20, 2006

Dr. McGovern,

How much, if any, alcohol is safe with a HIV/HCV co-infection? My last CD4 count was 425 with an undetectable viral load. I'm on Sustiva/Truvada. Also, I had a liver biopsy five months ago and it showed very minimal inflammation of the liver. My doctor said there was no hurry to treat the HCV. Should I drink at all at this point? Thank you very much. HJ

Response from Dr. McGovern

Excellent question. I think if you do not have a history of alcohol abuse, then one or two drinks on occasion (eg on the weekends) should be okay. However, I do want to point out that noone knows if any alcohol is truly safe. I think it is reasonable though if you may want to have some alcohol, particularly with a good biopsy result.

Remember to get another biopsy for follow-up to be certain that your disease is stable. I usually recommend it in 2 to 3 years (max). Baseline serum fibrosis markers would be good as well.



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