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Alcohol
Sep 13, 2003

I recently learned that I am HIV+ AND have been for at least 2 years. I entertain alot and enjoy beer.. usually 4 to 6 (2) times a week. What effect does this have on me? Currently I am not on Medications. I am cutting back on my alochol consumption but should I quit all together. If not..which would do less damage Wine or lite beer. I looked for an answer and cant seem to find one. Your web site is enlightening and has helped me cope with this a little better. Thanks for your time.

Response from Dr. Young

If you're not currently taking medications, there is little additional risk between HIV infection and alcohol, per se. That said, excessive alcohol consumption does carry the risk of liver disease (though not much in the way of immune decline).

More importantly, if you should start on medications, there are some important potential drug (medication) interactions and the risk of poor adherence to prescription medications (because of binge drinking).

So, I typically recommend moderation in alcohol, but not quitting altogether. Either wine or beer is fine, in reasonable quantities- 4-6 beers might be a little on the high side, particuarly if you to this frequently. The goal of HIV medication isn't necessarily to turn people into choir boys (or girls), but rather to facilitate long-term health. BY


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