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Alcoholic Binge Drinking
Sep 26, 2011

Hi, My question relates to binge drinking and being HIV+. After a big night and sometimes into the morning (hello 6am), I'm finding it takes a lot longer to recover from a binge session. I also feel body aches and pains for days - in particular around the back of my neck and chest region. Is this simply a hangover or something much more sinister?

Cheers from Sydney, Australia

P.S I'm 35 and have been poz since July 2007 (not on meds)

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Your body is sending you a strong message to cut back on alcohol! There are many physical reasons not to binge drink, including risk of brain damage, GI problems, cardiovascular problems, etc., etc. Specific to what you write, binge drinking can cause myopathy, muscular problems that can result in pain. Alcohol, of course, also impacts emotional functioning.

Although you're not on meds you need to protect your liver to the greatest extent possible. Alcohol aggravates the liver and many other bodily systems. Most experts belief that HIV+ persons can safely have one drink of alcohol per day but that consumption beyond that carries risk.

Here are two organizations that can help you get sober: Alcoholics Anonymous Australia and SMART Recovery Australia.

Take care of yourself!

-David



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