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Fasting Month for Muslim (FASTING FOR RAMADAN AND TAKING ANTIRETROVIRALS, 2011)
Aug 4, 2011

Dear Doctor.

I am a Muslim women, I wrote my blog on the body.com. Currebtly in my country every Muslim are suppose to fasting for the holy month fo Ramadhan, my question will what if I start fasting from dusk to dawn which is from 5am to 7.30pm and I suppose to take the medication within the 12 hours period, would it affect me? and how can I explain to people in my country that might not understand it especially this is Muslim country?

Please help me doc. Appreciate ur kind feed back.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello.

Although I am not an expert, it's my understanding that according to Islamic law, children below the age of 12, the sick, travelers and women who are menstruating or nursing a baby are exempt from fasting during Ramadan. Ramadan fasting is obligatory only for healthy adults. When fasting may significantly affect the health of the individual or when someone is genuinely sick, Islam exempts them from fasting. Quran 2:185 states: "God intends every facility for you, he does not want to put you into difficulties." Not taking antiretroviral drugs as prescribed would definitely put someone into "difficulties," because it could (and probably would) lead to viral rebound. This in turn could cause drug resistance, further immune deterioration resulting in an increased risk for opportunistic infections and malignancies and a host of other complications.

Hope that helps.

Dr. Bob



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