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Author Topic: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV  (Read 8720 times)

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Offline Jason11

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« on: February 07, 2007, 06:59:02 AM »
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



Offline J.R.E.

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  • Posts: 7,099
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2007, 07:59:30 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



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
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

Offline Jason11

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2007, 08:13:43 AM »
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

Offline MSPspud

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  • Posts: 613
  • Joined Mar 2005 - Formerly UofMurbs
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2007, 09:42:13 AM »
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

Offline Jason11

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  • Posts: 8
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2007, 10:20:51 AM »
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.

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2007, 12:18:28 PM »
Jason,

If only we could exercise control over people we love who are doing self-destructive things, but we can't. 

It sounds like your friend is "in denial," a bit of psychobabble meaning he's ignoring his poz status and even acting in ways that could easily be detrimental to his health.  No amount of pleading, begging, arguing, etc. will make him change until he wakes up to the facts.

I advise you to be as supportive as you can by encouraging him to get his lab work done regularly.  Educate yourself on HIV medication guidelines and try to make him understand the crucial importance of starting meds when the time comes.   Unfortunately, though, it sounds as if the group of people he's taken up with are leeches and users and the time may come when he rejects you as a true friend.  I hope not because it sounds like you're the person who has the best grasp of his situation.

As for your questions about drug use, tobacco, drinking, etc., while it is probably true the human infected by HIV is better off not engaging in such bad habits the fact is many do and seem to get away with it unless they really become excessive.  A hard meth or crack habit is going to damage the person eventually, HIV or no HIV, but occasional use is less dangerous. 

I hope your friend wakes up and realizes what a great friend you are before it's too late, but you are doing everything you can and it's up to him.  My best friend refused to listen to my begging to get blood work at the NO/AIDS Task Force here (it is a free service) until he was too sick to help.  By the time he got scared enough to act he was already dying.  I hate to think of other people, like your friend, throwing their lives away like that.

Best of luck with your efforts.

Boo

String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write © 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Posts: 7,099
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2007, 07:12:52 PM »
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


Hello Jason,


And once again, this  could be a major problem, if indeed your friend is missing his scheduled doses. The meds should be taken at their prescibed times, and missing or skipping, or being late on doses, is not a good thing. This can lead to the virus mutating, and the virus becoming resistant to the meds that he is on.

I also agree with what Boo stated about your friend being in "denial". I have been there, and I know the dangers of being there. Just continue to be supportive...


Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

Offline Queen Tokelove

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  • Posts: 6,033
  • Smokey the Smurf
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2007, 02:14:57 AM »
I pretty much am in agreement with what the others are saying. Your friend has to want to help himself. It seems like he is in denial and is leading a very destructive life. If he has been in rehab and gone right back out to drugging, he prolly didn't learn anything while there. I speak from experience because I had been in rehab back in the day. The one thing they stress is changing the people, places, and things that might trigger you to use. I'm no angel, I smoke weed but rehab did help me to stop doing what I went in there for. From the friends you say he has now, it sounds like he is smoking crack or hanging with crackheads. I don't know the behavior of people on meth or anything hardcore but I do agree with what you are saying about his new friends. I wish there was more I could tell you but I think you are a good friend for trying to help. But keep in mind, you can only do so much. When the time comes when he crashes and burns, it will, just be there for him. When that time comes, he will more than likely feel that he burned all his bridges, so he will indeed need a friend who has his best interest at heart. Good Luck....
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Jason11

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  • Posts: 8
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2007, 09:16:35 AM »
I pretty much am in agreement with what the others are saying. Your friend has to want to help himself. It seems like he is in denial and is leading a very destructive life. If he has been in rehab and gone right back out to drugging, he prolly didn't learn anything while there. I speak from experience because I had been in rehab back in the day. The one thing they stress is changing the people, places, and things that might trigger you to use. I'm no angel, I smoke weed but rehab did help me to stop doing what I went in there for. From the friends you say he has now, it sounds like he is smoking crack or hanging with crackheads. I don't know the behavior of people on meth or anything hardcore but I do agree with what you are saying about his new friends. I wish there was more I could tell you but I think you are a good friend for trying to help. But keep in mind, you can only do so much. When the time comes when he crashes and burns, it will, just be there for him. When that time comes, he will more than likely feel that he burned all his bridges, so he will indeed need a friend who has his best interest at heart. Good Luck....



Hi Queen,
Thank you for the reply. I must tell you that you got it right!!! My friend has been in rehab before for using Crack. He doesn't have pleasant memories from that period of his life which makes me think that he isn't doing crack now or Crystal Meth...from his statements and strong opinions about both substances when I have questioned him...but you know it is hard to trust someone with addictions. I think he is doing Cocaine occasionally, his friends, the ones I referred earlier, are Coke users and dealers. He admitted he does drugs about twice a month. I didn't want to ask him what his drug of choice was, Eventhough, he is one of my best friends and there are very little secrets between us, I think he deserves some privacy. I assume it'ss Coke. But this is just one thing...there is the alcohol (he can fill a fish tank with all the beers he pops in one night), tobacco. When it comes to sex, I must tell you that he is gay, and from "guy's talk" we've had, he is 90 % of the time the receptive partner. I do assure you that he tells guys about his HIV status; but he has also confessed that sometimes there is too much alcohol involved,  both parties neglect protection, he goes home and later finds out that the guy he hooked up with that night blew his fluids inside him.
I have come to the conclusion to just back off and observe, be less and less involved, keep our intercommunication civile and simple. If the situation gets worse, If he hits rock bottom because of the things he is doing, I will try to be there for him. Now, it is time for me to... pretty much... leave him on his own.

Thank you all for the great advice I have received in the last couple of days. God bless you and live well.   
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 09:55:14 AM by Jason11 »

Offline mjmel

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  • Posts: 2,069
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2007, 08:40:07 PM »
I have come to the conclusion to just back off and observe, be less and less involved, keep our intercommunication civile and simple. If the situation gets worse, If he hits rock bottom because of the things he is doing, I will try to be there for him. Now, it is time for me to... pretty much... leave him on his own.

Thank you all for the great advice I have received in the last couple of days. God bless you and live well.   
Hey Jason. Welcome to the forum. I read your post very early this morning before any of the above responses were posted. I wanted to offer some advice but didn' t want it to be the first thing you'd digest following your post. I wanted to advise you to do just what you've stated in above quote. You have got a good heart and want to reach out to help........and you speak with understanding.
If your friend is hell bent on learning his lessons the hard way--then so be it. Been there; done that. You be there for him but take no bullshit. He'll respect you for it. If not now, then later.

Offline Jason11

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2007, 07:53:08 PM »
Thank you to all of you for your feedback. What a way to open my eyes and, actually, help me understand and try to assimilate a reality that it was a bit out of touch with myself or maybe...viceversa.

As I stated in my introductory comment I came here seeking advice for an HIV + friend and his current lifestyle. What a nudge and an oportunity!!  I found a whole new surprising and unexpected world. I wish I could express myself in a better way.

I MUST confess that what I have seen here, in each forum’s topic, it’s a COMMUNITY!! People that care and help each either. In my friend’s life, being HIV + is like a “silent paradise”...nothing...I guess some people handdle and deal with it differently as I compare how pationate some of you are and how “different” he is.

 I don’t expect him or anyone to take pride themselves based on a health situation but I find very ... “interesting”...(for a lack of a better world) why he doesn’t participate in social activities with other + people, why he doesn’t encourage-educate others nor participate in activities to raise awareness . My friend goes to get his body waxed every year, then goes to the Pride Fest to take his tank top off and show his hairless chest...instead of passing condoms or flyers.

I am NOT trying to dictate him or anybody what to do - nor expect it - but this is definately a red flag raised. I came here for answers and I am leaving with more questions...which is not necesary a bad thing XOXOX. I will always love and care for my friend...just don’t know if I can see him differently starting today. Maybe I am the one who’s changing and at this point I’m a little confused.

Anyway, life is life, and people live it the way they want it. I admire you for this and thank you so much for everything. I would had never expected it...   

Thank you.
Jason 

Offline dtwpuck

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Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2007, 07:18:14 PM »
Jason... you are a good friend and he is lucky to have you.
Here are a couple thoughts:

As you know, you can't make him stop taking drugs and running on the path to self destruction.  In fact, you can't even stop him from moving away from you in order to be with his new "friend", getting high.  Understand that this is normal behavior for an addict.

You've probably heard that addiction is something that can only be kicked when the addict wants to.  That means he's going to have to deal with the issues that are making drugs attractive.  In order to do that, he's now got a physical addiction to deal with too.  Drugs exacerbate personal problems, they don't make them go away. 

Now, you know this.  He doesn't yet.  You have to take care of yourself, but you don't need to stop caring in order to do so.  Your friend will need you when he hits rock bottom and will probably feel embarrassed by his habits.  Be sure he knows that you don't approve and don't feel comfortable around his loser buddies, but also make sure he knows that when he's ready to talk, that you love him and will be there for him.  He's got a lot of shit to deal with and only his real friends are going to be able to help him dig himself out.

Good luck... and if I could meet you, I'd give you a big hug.  You're the hero here.
Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

Offline AustinWesley

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    • HIV Discussion Group on Myspace!
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2007, 03:24:40 AM »
Hey Jason,

I was really impressed with your intellect and sense of caring for your friend.   Boy, this is a tough one.   First, I would agree that from the amount of drug use he's clearly an addict.   Chances are he didn't go to rehab cause it sounded like fun.   I've never been, but I can tell ya there were times in my past when I probably should have.  Some people are better at hiding it than others.

Generally, from my experience when someone fesses up to doing drugs twice a month it's not usually true.  Crystal meth is enough to kill someone without HIV and highly addictive.  Been there done that, but I just quit because my best friend went over the edge and I sooner thought I'd see him in a coffin than ever healthy again.   Another friend and I tried an intervention after I had disassociated myself from him for some time.  But, he was too obsessed with doing drugs and his loser boyfriend who'd turned to dealing. 

I pretty much gave up on him as a total lost cause.  Shockingly, a couple months went by and he finally fessed up to his family and they got him into a rehab where he stayed for 2 months.   I was worried he would relapse, but never has to my knowledge and it's been over 5 years now.  So, it's true when people say someone has to decide for themselves.

Depending on how much he's using, he probably has no clear judgement.  His self esteem is likely shot and hanging around other losers is more comfortable.   It sounds like you are one of the few links he has to any sense of reality.  I'm surprised he's sharing some of this info. with you at all.

I think crystal is likely the worst drug ever.   And most people say their doing coke cause that sounds more acceptable.   Crystal is so strong and people loose all inhibitions on it.  It wouldn't surprise me it that's how he ended up positive in the first place.   And now every club is just packed with tweakers.   Ugh!   Even though I was able to stop using it I don't want any one around me on it or doing it cause I would be afraid I'd be tempted to do it and that's the last thing anyone who's HIV+ needs.   

I've got to wonder about your friend's self esteem and family life?   Does he work or go to school now?   Being gay is no picnic for anyone, add on HIV+ and it's too much for some people to handle.   From the sound of what you have described it sounds like he's on a major self destructive binge.  It may be he has a death wish or maybe he is in denial about being sick.   

Why do you hang around with him?   I'm just curious because it seems like you are a bright guy who has all options open and a clear head.   

Depending on how far gone he is it may be better to just let him run his own course.   I know that for me with my best friend it was very difficult to sit back while he destroyed his life, but I wasn't gona go with him down that path anymore.   

Somebody else mentioned a good suggestion, getting him into some sort of support or HIV related activities.   Right now it seems like there isn't much hope from the description.   I don't know where you live, but if you wanted to give it a shot perhaps joining yourself and trying to get him involved might be a shot.   Maybe this would give him a window of hope?

Whatever ya do I'd talk to him straight and find out exactly what the situation is.   You seem like a very genuine caring friend and I wish ya all the best.

Wesley
« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 03:51:35 AM by AustinWesley »
Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline AustinWesley

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Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2007, 03:44:41 AM »
Jason,

One more thing.  I can pretty much assure you he isn't living in some "silent paradise."   More like a very real and private Hell is my best guess.

There are a few whackos who actually think HIV is some kind of gift, but I can definitely say it isn't from my personal perspective. 

Have you tried referring your friend to this site?   A lot of people with substance abuse problems are on here.  Oh, that didn't sound right ; )  I mean there are a lot who have overcome those problems.

And most certainly he'd find someone to relate to.   

Also with drug addiction there are alternative programs.  I know I would never have gone to any 12 step deal with all the religious overtones etc.  There are others that don't have any of that BS, one called Rational Recovery comes to mind.   Just a last ditch though!

Take care,

Wesley
« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 03:47:15 AM by AustinWesley »
Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline Jason11

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  • Posts: 8
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2007, 11:26:36 AM »
Hi Wesley;

Oh my…Where do I begin? Let me start by telling you how my friend and I met. We were both in a high school gifted student program and met there when we were in 9th grade (about 14-15 y/o). He was (is) a nice guy, sweet and sensitive; book smart like no one else in our class, but a total street dumb. I noticed that he was a very self dependent person from the get-go; the kind of guy who has the need to be accepted by others and sometimes make decisions based on those needs instead of what his guts tell him.
The drug issue, I believe, started in college. I went to Ithaca, NY, where I lived for almost 7 years until I graduated and he went to Penn State. We always stayed in touched but saw each either only on special occasions, such as holidays, summers, etc. We both studied long careers and after a long time in college I came back to my hometown where I got the job I still have. My friend returned home as well but not alone.

He met someone in PA and brought the guy down to Fort Lauderdale, FL, where we are located. This guy he met and lived with for several years was nothing but a scumbag, a complete punk. He was HIV + and was consuming drugs (Crack). My friend got introduced to the drug scene by his partner. As far as sex goes, my friend told me that one time they were drunk, high and decided to have sex. For my friend, the fact that his partner was HIV + was always a concern and according to his words, he didn’t want to live his life fearing the disease anymore and intentionally let his boyfriend infect him. This happened during a time we had very little contact due to his relationship with his boyfriend and the unstable lifestyle they both were living. I knew he was positive long after he was diagnosed. When I knew the way he got the disease…it was a bombshell!! Not even in my wildest dream I would have thought someone could do that to themselves. I was speechless, in complete shock.

Once I was back to be myself again, and had the chance to coordinate my thoughts regarding this whole situation, I didn’t feel it was appropriate for me to go ballistic on him and tell him what an idiot he was for letting that happen. The damage was already there; one of my best friends was HIV positive and HIV became a reality, not only for him, but for all our common friends. As friends, we all had no choice than being there for him, not just being there and remind him for his stupidity every 5 minutes. It was time to move on and deal with the present, if you know what I mean.

Sometime after he was diagnosed with the HIV virus, his relationship with his partner deteriorated, the guy finally left him for someone else, ironically. My friend made a few attempts which made us think he was looking to get back on the right track. He checked in in a rehab center, his employer took him back after rehab, he was making good money, wasn’t hanging out at the bars that much at all. He was devastated after the separation from his partner and reached out to his old friends, including me, for support.

Lately, as you perhaps read in the whole thread, seems like old habits are coming back to hurt again and as a friend I don’t wish or want that to happen, but nor I can stop it. Same as opposite attracts, looks like trouble attracts trouble as well. He is WEAK. Easy target for the smart old dogs on the streets out there, plus all his addictions make him even weaker: drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex, body waxing, sleeping pills and I can go on and on and on…

I haven’t seen him much lately, he barely calls. I don’t go out to clubs often since I am seriously dating someone; we do other things and spend time in places that are not associated with the “scene”. You probably know that’s not the best environment to be when you are getting involved with someone deeper and deeper.
I worry for my friend, and think often about him. I know he doesn’t have that many people in his “circuit boy world” to watch out for him but…1st things come 1st, I have to go on with my life and at this point I feel that he should not be on top of my priorities regardless how much I care for him. 

Hope you have a great day wherever you are.

Jason            
« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 12:33:02 PM by Jason11 »

Offline AustinWesley

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    • HIV Discussion Group on Myspace!
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2007, 08:04:39 PM »
Hey Jason,

Yeah, from everything you've told us I'd say he's pretty much a lost cause and clearly not your responsibility.   I've lost more than one friend to that circuit party group and like you I'm rarely at a club.

When people are spun out on crystal meth and various other drugs they aren't capable of making good decisions and naturally end up with party friends and shy away from old friends who aren't users.   

It sounds like you two are in completely different worlds.   I think you've made up your mind wisely and don't feel you need to justify anything.   If he wants to ruin his life he will.

I think you were correct that HIV is the least of his problems.   

Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky and one day get your friend back like I did.   I never thought it would've happened, but he's gotta make some kind of effort.

Best wishes to you!

Wesley
Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline Jason11

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  • Posts: 8
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2007, 01:33:05 PM »
When people are spun out on crystal meth and various other drugs they aren't capable of making good decisions and naturally end up with party friends and shy away from old friends who aren't users.   


Wesley

It is interesting that you now mention Crystal Meth; He calls it " Tina".  ::) He said he hooked up with a guy one night and he (the guy) was doing "Tina" but he (my friend) didn't do it...I don't want to jump into conclusions whether he is doing Meth or not...but he was talking to me about "Tina"  with such a familiar tone. I didn't know what Tina was (I don't live in the Dark Ages, okay :P) He had to tell me Tina was Methamphetamine. 

Offline AustinWesley

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  • Posts: 815
    • HIV Discussion Group on Myspace!
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2007, 04:27:18 PM »
Jason,

That Madonna song is playing in my mind.........I've heard it all before, heard it all before ; ) 

Oh, there's a whole bunch of cutesy names for these deadly drugs.  I'm not up on all the lingo, but Tina is one that's been around forever.

I've no idea why he shares all this with you.  It could be he's just high or it maybe is an actual cry for help whether conscious or not.

Really, about the only thing I could suggest is perhaps emailing a link to this site so perhaps he'd actually deal with some of his issues. 

My only other thought is to collaborate with friends and family and see if you could get him on that Intervention show on A&E which pays for long term treatment and removes him from the destructive setting he's in.   It's worth a shot.  I don't know his or his families financial situation or insurance, but I really like the fact that the Intervention team whisks the addict off to another location away from dysfunctional friends and families.   Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

Addicts are the best liars usually.   

I guess it depends what you are trying to accomplish.   And hey, if it's just to express concern and feel out the situation that's cool too.

Wesley
Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline SouthSam7

  • Member
  • Posts: 428
Re: Drugs, alcohol, smoking cigs and HIV
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2007, 04:04:32 AM »
Dear Friend,

I'll keep mine brief.  My best friend died a few years ago with hiv but it was because he never stopped using drugs.  He also smoked and didn't take his meds til it was too late. 

Just over a year ago I was diagnosed hiv+ and I knew I got it from using meth all the time and not being safe.  I had tried to quit before but when I was diagnosed hiv+ I never used again.  It wasn't easy, and I have no peer support here, but with NA and a couple of great friends who want me to stay clean, I have. 

Direct your friend to na.org.  Better yet, find out some local times and meeting places to give him so he doesn't have an excuse for not knowing about the meetings.  Sometimes all it takes is offering help to someone and they will grab at the chance to make their life better.  Don't give up!

Love,
Sam

 


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