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Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV

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Jason11:
HI everyone, my name is Jason, I am so glad I found this message board. I am HIV neg and I decided to register and post here to find some answers regarding my best friend, since we were in HS, who happened to be HIV POZ. He is not taking good care of himself. He has been + since 2002 and lived a "somehow normal" lifestyle with its ups and downs until a year ago. Lately he goes to places and hangs out with people that are nothing but big TROUBLE, and by trouble I mean drugs. I have questioned him several times if he is doing drugs and he denies it but I am very troubled by the people he likes to socialize with recently. Recreational drug users, drug dealers, broke people with no jobs. I am sorry for throwing all this drama here. As a friend, who loves him I am willing to do whatever it takes to help him out but he refuses help, there is only so much I can do but there are things like, the use of illegal substances that can't accept or tolerate. I don't want to distance myself from him, but I will if this doesn't change. He has a VERY addictive personality, always has. Just the kind of person that needs to try only once and he is totally hooked. At this point, in my opinion, HIV is the least of all his problems; other problems like drinking and going out every night, smoking, recreational drugs once and a while, random hookups with all kinds of people are far more serious than being + himself.
One day he was missing all night and a good part of the next day. We left the club together the night before, I went home and he went to another club. The next day, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon I called his mother's house, spoke to his sister after unsuccessfully trying to contact him and now he blames me for "getting" him "in trouble" with his family. Addicts usually blame others when they are questioned by the love ones. I don't feel guilty of what I did. I think I did the right thing.
I don't like any of his new friends...literally. He keeps asking me if I judge people by their friends, and I said YES. If you are a drug addict you hangout with other drug users and drug dealers, if you like sports your friends are into sport, if you like the gym you hangout with others who are into being fit. You can't choose your family, but you definitely CAN choose the people you associate yourself with.   

 He is a great guy and has the biggest heart, he is too giving and all these people are his friends to use him, I have no doubt about it. Last Saturday I went to a club and there was a guy that he hangs out with, I don't know if this man works or not, but never has a cent, big time drug user. Well, he was sticking his hand in my friend's pocket to get money from him to buy drinks. Then they both went to a place where all the people that don't get laid at the other local bars or clubs go there to play tricks or buy drugs.
After telling you briefly my friend's story I have a few concerns and I'd greatly appreciate all feedback I can get. I am sorry for the LONG thread but I wanted to "paint" a scene for you all, that way may be easier to respond.

I have heard the use of recreational (illegal) drugs, smoking cigarettes, alcohol, lack of rest, etc can be detrimental for someone who's infected with the HIV virus. How exactly bad is the combination of all these substances and being positive? Is my friend's clock ticking and he just doesn't know it?. He said the doctor tells him he is just fine his T cell are right where the should be and I think my friend is taking his doctor's word for granted. He doesn't eat right nor exercise.

Thank you so much to you all for helping friends and families of HIV +.

Jason


J.R.E.:

--- Quote from: Jason11 on February 07, 2007, 06:59:02 AM ---

I have heard the use of recreational (illegal) drugs, smoking cigarettes, alcohol, lack of rest, etc can be detrimental for someone who's infected with the HIV virus. How exactly bad is the combination of all these substances and being positive? Is my friend's clock ticking and he just doesn't know it?. He said the doctor tells him he is just fine his T cell are right where the should be and I think my friend is taking his doctor's word for granted. He doesn't eat right nor exercise.

Thank you so much to you all for helping friends and families of HIV +.

Jason


--- End quote ---


Hello Jason,

My only response to this, is to take a look at someone who is HIV negative, drinks excessively, does drugs and smokes like a chimney, and burns the candle at both ends. It's not healthy, and ones health will eventually suffer, and it shows.

Our bodies are fighting 24 hours a day to try to keep the virus in check, with the medications that we are taking. We have to do everything we reasonably can, to keep ourselves healthy. As an HIV positive person, your friend, needs to do whatever is possible to remain healthy,physically and mentally, including eating properly and nutritiously, otherwise he is heading for trouble ! Quite plain and simple, ( and not always easy), but your friend needs to get his shit together. I would think, that your friend needs counseling, but he has to take that step.


 Just my thoughts------Ray

Jason11:
Hi Ray, and thank you so much for the feedback. I certainly agree with you, and as I stated, at this point, having HIV is the least of his problems; but in the other hand that's a disease that can't be neglected. My friend is on meds, he says he takes two pills a day, I am worry that sometimes he forgets to take his medication because of the hangovers or drugs withdrawal.
I wanted to keep this thread  strictly on topic, but...YES, you're 100% right. He has other issues just besides being HIV +.

Thanks again, and have a great day

MSPspud:
The bottom line is that none of it is good in excess.  Heck, most of it's not good in moderation but let's be realistic.  It sounds like he's going to have to hit rock bottom on his own.  From what you're saying it sounds like he's living with his family.  Until that stops, he's not going to see the light.

A few things that have helped me stay on track have been continued education, the gym, a good job and age.  You can worry all you want, but ultimately it's going to be up to him.  All you can offer is intervention (if it's that bad).

Jason

Jason11:
Hi Jason;

Yeah...I am convinced he has to hit rock bottom and hopefully he'll learn...if it's not too late. I'm also convinced there are people that never learn, and he may be one of those. My friend has been in rehab before and always goes back to do the same things that put him there in the 1st place. I hate to see him going down that way, and trying to seek intervention for him has deteriorated our friendship because he refuses it and gets very defensive...I'm afraid because of his lifestyle his health will deteriorate and will be diagnosed full blown AIDS soon than expected. We ( his old friends) will be devastated to see him go.

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