What Men Should Know

Drugs and ARVs

What You Should Know
  • If you’re on ARV treatment your kidneys and liver manage the levels of the medication in your body. Taking recreational drugs could place additional strain on these organs.
  • Mixing ARVs with recreational drugs could cause very high levels of the recreational drug in your bloodstream, leading to a possible drug overdose. Sometimes, recreational drugs lower the level of ARVs in the body which could cause them to become ineffective.
  • Using recreational drugs suppresses your immune system. Recreational drugs often impact on your appetite or make it difficult to sleep, and without correct nutrition and proper sleep, you could also be putting unnecessary strain on your body.
What Can You Do?
  • If you use recreational substances, ask your healthcare provider whether these drugs will interact with your ARVs.
  • Cutting down on recreational drugs, or not taking them at all will make it easier to remember to take your ARVs correctly. Being adherent with your treatment will result in better treatment outcomes.
  • Remember to drink