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Jan 6, 2011

I am positive, my partner is negative and we practice safe sex. My partner loves poppers and other inhalents - I don't use them and don't care for them but when we get into rough and tumble he pulls them out. Recently he used video head cleaner which seems to make him stupid and I got angry about it so I stopped the play. And I figured whatever he's inhaling so am I and wondering how "safe" this stuff is for HIV positive folks? Is there any literature on this? And is the stuff addictive? I know poppers relaxes the sphincter so it's easier to be receptive - but what about the video head cleaner? At one point he seemed catotonic and I got scared. He also got sloppy and attempted to have unsafe sex. Advice or words of wisdom apprecitated as I'm sure a number of guys (and gals) use this stuff.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Poppers, as you point out, are widespread inhalants that some feel enhance sex by giving a "rush" to the head. They relax smooth muscles within the body, including the sphincter. "Video head cleaner" is sold as a legal substitute for various alkyl nitrites that require a prescription. While they have been around a long time, poppers are not without considerable risk. Besides causing a fierce headache, mixing them with Viagra can cause a steep drop in blood pressure and there have been documented cases of retina damage and other complications. In general, it would be wise to avoid poppers, especially if you are HIV positive.

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