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Alcohol and ARV's
Jan 24, 2006

My friend is on ARV no for the past 3 month but only take the med whenever he feels like. He is drinking alot of alcohol and eat very little food - CD count was in December 44 and there is no improvement in his health so ever

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

Simply put, HIV medications that are only taken periodically don't work. It's worse than that, since poorly adhered to medications are the leading cause of drug resistance, treatment failure and failure to improve health. If the alcohol is contributing to his non-adherence it's a real problem.

Your friend needs to have a heart to heart discussion with his doctor about his ability to adhere to medications. With a CD4 count less than 100, the consequences of not getting viral suppression and CD4 cell count imprvoment is grave: there's about a 30% chance of death among untreated such patients. BY



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