Can I Smoke Marijuana While on HIV Meds?

Associate Editor

The marijuana decriminalization movement is steadily gaining momentum across the U.S. In a time of greater access, many HIV-positive people may worry about how marijuana, especially its active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), might interact with their HIV meds.

Those looking for a doctor's opinion need to look no further than Joel Gallant, M.D., M.P.H. On his personal Tumblr, Gallant, an HIV doctor at Southwest CARE Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, answers questions about a host of issues related to HIV treatment and prevention. He recently fielded a question from an anonymous user who was concerned about marijuana use and HIV meds.

The anonymous user asked:

Thanks for all the support and advice you share with us all. I try to read this forum once a week. I love your direct and honest approach. Quick question -- I am taking Stribild daily. I take it every day, forgotten once or twice in the last year, but I'm generally good with adherence. Is it safe to use marijuana while HIV+ and on meds? I've been undetectable since starting HIV meds.

Dr. Gallant answered:

It's OK to smoke a little marijuana, as long as it doesn't make you forget to take your Stribild.

If you're a recreational marijuana user, please make sure to discuss this with your doctor. Though Dr. Gallant says you should have nothing to worry about, nothing can replace a solid talk with your doctor, who knows your entire medical history and would benefit from knowing about your current and historical drug use.

Mathew Rodriguez is the community editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.

Follow Mathew on Twitter: @mathewrodriguez.