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Illegal Drugs and Lab Results
Jul 28, 2003

Hello, I'm a 29 year old male and I've been HIV+ for several years now. I have taken several different combos of medications since I was first diagnosed. At the present time, I do NOT take any medications and my health is good. My most recent labs indicated a CD4 count of 564 coupled with a viral load of 9530.

My question is related to recreational drug use. I frequent the nightclubs on weekends and take ecstacy, ketamine, crystal meth, and GHB on occasion. I've found that my lab results always turn out better right after a big party weekend. I've read a bundle of research that frowns upon the use of any illegal drug. I do understand, that like anything else, these drugs have some negative, long term effects. However, I'm starting to wonder if said drugs have some positive, long term effects as well (i.e. stress relief, etc.)

I'm a firm believer that too much stress can quickly wipe out even the most healthy person. I have to admit that I enjoy taking a break from the real world at times and believe that such a break has helped my body combat this disease. My doctor is completely aware of my recreational drug consumption and has never once recommended that I stop using. What's your opinion regarding this issue? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks to you all for sharing your expertise with the world. This site is amazing and has touched many lives. Keep up the great work.

Response from Dr. Boyle

It is my opinion that the risks of recreational drugs are significant and there are no data that support an argument that they effectively relieve stress or provide any other health benefit. Some of the drugs you list can cause, and probably are causing, signficant damage to your body and are addictive. I would recommed that you not use them, even on a recreational basis, since that's the way most addicts become addicts.

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