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Does alcohol affect HIV medications?

Aug 8, 2017

Hi. I was detected HIV three months ago. My cd4 was 752 and viral load I still don't know. I started to take lamivudina, tenofovir and efavirenz all at 8:00 at night. In these 3 months I have drunk alcohol moderately at least one time per month. Can it can affect my adherence to treatment?. And do we have to avoid alcohol at all? Or can I can drink at a party normally once a month or do I really have to avoid it. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Hello and thanks for writing. It is good that you were able to begin treatment while your viral load is still high.

It is generally considered safe for someone to have one alcoholic drink with HIV medications. I'm not sure what you mean by drinking "moderately" - that can mean different things to different people. One drink when you go out will not interfere with your HIV medications.

Because you just tested positive three months ago you are still undergoing a period of adjustment. During that time you are at increased risk for using too much alcohol (or other drugs) as a way to cope with the shock and any resulting feelings. Although it sounds like your drinking is well-controlled and occurs at social situations,I would urge you to use caution and avoid drinking to avoid uncomfortable emotions.

All the best,

David



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