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Smoked Crystal Meth one night, will it affect VL?

Jun 18, 2000

Hello Doctor,

I am very embarrassed to ask this question. I am HIV positive and have taken my condition very seriously and check your forum regularly, which I find as a godsend. But This is why I am feeling so bad and angry about what I did. I have tested HIV positive in Jan 2000. My Vl has been continually decreasing from 130,000 to my current VL of 14,000 without starting any meds yet. T cells have stayed around 600. My Doctor, whom I trust as an excellent HIV Dr, wants to wait to see if it will continue to drop before starting HAART. I don't drink, smoke and have never done drugs. Unfortunately, a few night ago, I did something really stupid, I was out and under pressure, and smoked several hits of Crystal Methamphetamine. I am freaking out!!!!! I have never done drugs before and have no intention to do any more in the future. My question is I am scheduled for another VL/TCell test in two weeks. Will this one time use of Crystal Meth affect my VL and for how long? Should I postpone my test or is it too late? I have been stressing so much over this. Please help and thank you so much for your forum, it has been incredibly helpful.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Although it has never been systematically studied, various recreational drugs can affect viral load levels. A one time use of meth might be enough to cause a blip in viral load, depending on how much was consumed and the amount of stimulation in the immune system favoring viral replication it created. This is all speculative. I would keep the appointment.


VL up and CD4 down -- what to do?
Husband HIV Positive

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