e-prevention and risk reduction in festive environments
Know more, risk less
Taking antiretroviral treatment for HIV or antiviral treatment for hepatitis C and using drugs poses additional risks: “risks of interactions.”
When two substances are active in the body, they can potentially enter into a “conflict.” Some drugs and treatments are metabolised, i.e. “transformed” in the body by the same route, especially the liver, which can affect the effect of the treatment or drug.
While it is difficult to accurately assess interactions, particularly because the drugs sold are often “cut” with other products, we do know that there are several types of known interactions. In all cases, drugs and ARVs can interact in several ways, including:
The effect of the drug can be increased, with an increased risk of overdose
The effect of the drug can be reduced: it requires a larger volume to reach the desired effect, which also leads to an increased risk of coma or overdose
The effect of ARVs can be reduced, making treatment less effective
When you start treatment for HIV and/or hepatitis C, as your body “gets used” to your medications, especially during the first four weeks, the likelihood of interactions is higher. So, if you take drugs, the risks you take are even higher.