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drugs n HIV
Jan 6, 2011

Knowing any non-prescribed drug for anyone is dangerous; How does cocaine affect an HIVer and their immune system even thou they are taking a cocktail for HIV?

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Cocaine complicates strategies for staying healthy with HIV, perhaps most significantly by interfering with adherence to antiviral medications. Even well-meaning attempts to comply with a treatment regimen often fail when there is significant use of cocaine or other recreational drugs, which also impact one's ability to maintain a healthy emotional state necessary to keep the immune system well-functioning. There is evidence that cocaine is neurotoxic and may cause a decline in CD4 cells that seems independent of whether or not there is medication adherence. My recommendation is to focus more on strategies to maintain your health and less on cocaine. Most agencies working with HIV positive individuals have lists and contacts for local resources providing more information about cocaine and treatment options (if necessary).



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