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is it real that alcohol doesn't affect us?
May 4, 2011

Hello Doctor, thank you very much for all the help that you provide us. I have read a lot about alcohol while taking retrovirals.

Thanks God, I don't have any health problems, I'm young (21) but I'm still very worried about all the alcohol dilema. I've read that if you drind moderately there won't be any problems and that it doesn't matter if you take alcohol 30 minutes an hour or two before or after taking the medicine and I see that all of you say that adherence is the priority and taking care, but I want to know the real effect of alcohol if you drink moderately (and how much is moderately), sometimes I fear that it is just said so people don't stop taking their medicine because one day they feel like drinking and they are scared about the side effects that this could bring, what can you tell me about this? If I know how to drink is it really ok? aren't there any long term problems? and also, how often is it acceptable (if it is).

Thank you very much for your time, I look for my health but I would also like how much of my "social life" can be accepted. Thank you again!!

Response from Dr. Henry

For most HIV+ patients social drinking (1-2 drinks/day or less) is OK though concern increases if liver disease (such as hepatitis C) or if tendency to drink excessively (latter can lead to black outs, DWIs, missed doses of HIV meds, and unsafe sex/needle behavior that can pose health risk). Regular alcohol use is also a source of excess calories that can lead to weight problems over time/with aging. KH



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