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ARv's and alcohol
Jul 26, 2008

how detrimental is taking alcohol when on ARV's? (i dont mean drinking as if there's no tomorrow). could an occassional glass of wine or spirits - maybe once or twice a month - dent your health considerably?what happens to vl or cd4 count?

Response from Dr. Sherer

There are no known short term effects on viral load or CD4 cell counts by an occasional beer, glass of wine, or shot of teguila, each of which contain roughly the same amount of alcohol.

The main concern with alcohol is it's disinhibitory effect. Heavy, frequent drinking, and episodic 'binge' drinking, are associated with poorer levels of medication adherence, which in turn can lead to viremia, drug resistance, and treatment failure. Occasional alcohol use in the manner in which you describe it is fine, and even healthy.

I suggest you talk to your doctor about his or her recommendations related to your drinking.


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