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HAART and extra-curricular activities

Jan 6, 2011

Give it to me straight please. I am recently diagnosed and just started on HAART about a month or so ago. Was wondering if occasional use of marijuana and cocaine would actually interfere with therapy. By no means am I a dope head or lush, but admittedly, I did engage in these activities socially/recreationally before my diagnosis and just thought I'd ask if doing it every now and again is harmful while on my meds. Also what about alcohol use? I work for a company that is well known for partying hard when it comes to alcohol consumption and need to know if I can occasionally get a little inebriated like at holiday parties and the like with my company colleagues. I am very responsible in making sure I take my meds and don't ever plan on missing a dose as I know the importance of strict adherence. Thanks for your reply Sir!

Response from Dr. Fawcett

It's impossible to define a specific point at which the use of alcohol and other drugs interferes with antiviral therapy. A search of the medical literature reveals complications associated with nearly every drug, mostly concerning toxicity and stress on the liver and kidneys, as well as interactions with medications. I advise my clients (who have no addictive history) to go easy on these "extra-curricular" activities because they can have a real impact. Clearly, if there is any tendency to overindulge the best strategy is not to use them at all. I'm glad you are committed to never missing a dose of medication, but beware of partying hard - it will affect your health.

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