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Author Topic: Alcohol  (Read 12477 times)

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Offline ChaplinGuy

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  • Posts: 236
  • Eat my left foot
« on: August 09, 2006, 05:46:30 PM »
I am becoming increasingly concerned about drinking any kind of alcohol (especially red wine, of which I have been a serious studentfor years and drink in moderation with high-end cuisine). I tested positive in June, so this is all very new and so far I think my blood work indicates I am "healthy" (CD4 481, VL 30,000). I keep reading conflicting things about drinking alcohol. I know that abuse or execessive drinking will compromise my immune system, however, cannot determine if I go t-total as a result of my HIV status?

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Alcohol
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2006, 05:57:37 PM »

Offline aztecan

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  • Posts: 5,517
  • 32 years positive, 60 years a pain in the butt
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2006, 12:18:56 AM »
Hey Chaplinguy,
The key is moderation. Your numbers are still pretty good and you say you usually drink red wine (with high-end cuisine).

I, personally, see nothing wrong with that. My doctor recommended I drink a glass of red wine daily to help with my cholesterol and I have been on ARVs for a decade now.

Where I have seen alcohol do damage to the immune system is among those who consumer copious amounts of alcohol on a regular, usually daily, basis. I am talking a pint of more of hard liquor a day.

But that is a far cry from a glass or two of a good Pinot Noir, Bougalaise (which I think I mispelled) or even a nice Chianti.

I would ask your doc what he/she thinks. But on the face of it, I would say enjoy!


"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline ChaplinGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 236
  • Eat my left foot
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2006, 09:13:39 PM »

Thanks guys. This is helpful. I am gleaning that truly it is a person-by-person test to determine how well you react to alcohol once you're on meds. I am so far new to this and not taking anything (yet), so am appreciative of your guidance that things will change once those pills become a daily ritual.


Offline Merlin

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  • Posts: 642
  • As My WILL, So MOTE It Be !
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2006, 08:27:54 PM »
Hey guys:

I notice my lymph nodes on my neck swell up whenever I have some beer or sake in a sushi bar on a night's out. My nodes have been swollen since I was diagnosed but they swell up more whenever I take a drink or have a fever. I am trying to see if I should just stop drinking completely or try a glass of red wine once a week to see if it would be ok. I have collected alot red wines up till now and would be a waste if I could not drink them.

I have checked up on doing some self lymphatic drainage massages to help whenever my nodes swell up and seems to help a little. Still learning more on how to stay more healthy. ???

Stay well...Blessed Be !


Diagnosed : August 05
Nov 05: VL:120,000 CD4: 440
Not on medication

Still have not done my second set of labs yet (long story)
I'll leave Hatred to those not strong enough to Love.


Believe & The Power Of The Mind Transforms.
Make It Happen...


I blame them for nothing.
I forgive them for everything.

---->> Mary J. Blige on dysfuctional parents

Offline Poz Brit

  • Member
  • Posts: 158
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2006, 05:03:02 AM »
My diagnosis was some 9 months ago (29th Nov 05) but have probably been poz for 8 to 10 years? And I drink, couple of pints of beer most nights and I am no stranger to wine, Merlot or shiraz as a preference, I am not on meds as yet, my numbers are listed below. I think it is a person to person thing, and you have to gauge yourself.


Offline ndrew

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  • Posts: 695
  • ....-.-.-.-.-.....
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2006, 10:55:50 PM »
I can't handle alcohol anymore, I am even developing an aversion to it.  It makes me feel sick and rips my stomach apart.  Not on meds. yet, but soon.  I really love a glass of red wine, but DAMN even 1-2 drinks effect me the next day...

Offline Queen Tokelove

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  • Posts: 6,033
  • Smokey the Smurf
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2006, 07:59:49 PM »
I think I have that adversion to beer. I use to drink back in the day but now I can barely stomach a beer. Every now and then I will get a taste for a Colt 45 which my best friend drinks by the case almost every week. She always gives me a 6 pack, I may drink one, then she calls and asks for the others when she runs out, ;D  I'm not really up on wines but does like Arbor Mist. I even have to be careful with that because I am diabetic. Sometimes being diabetic pissed me off and is more difficult to deal with than being poz. Go figure. :-\
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 Merlin

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  • Posts: 642
  • As My WILL, So MOTE It Be !
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2006, 12:30:18 AM »
Hey John (UK) Poz Brit:

Your last numbers seem to see a big jump in CD4 and almost halved your VL. That's very inspiring. I'm also not on meds yet. Any idea what u have been doing differently for such an improvement? Care to share what vitamin supplements, lifestyle program....etc you are currently on? Thank you.

Peace !

PS: You VL seems remarkably low all these while. You must be doing something right? Is it due to the alcohol/beer?   ;D
I'll leave Hatred to those not strong enough to Love.


Believe & The Power Of The Mind Transforms.
Make It Happen...


I blame them for nothing.
I forgive them for everything.

---->> Mary J. Blige on dysfuctional parents

Offline Esquare

  • Member
  • Posts: 237
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2006, 12:25:09 PM »
I had my first glass of wine with dinner since starting meds (atripla) and everything went fine. I did feel a little weird in my belly from it but I was sort of nervous about drinking the wine. I'm going with the whole moderation approach. Maybe a glass a week at the most until I know the medicine is working.

Offline antibody

  • Member
  • Posts: 525
  • "every man thinks his burden is the heaviest"
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2006, 01:24:07 PM »
i used to drink like a fish before seroconverting. since i really can't handle it anymore. it immediately starts to make me feel ill no matter what type of alcohol, beer, wine, mixed drinks. i can't say i miss it. i do miss going out to bars with friends for some happy hour cocktails. now my distaste for alcohol has transformed into an allergy to drunk people. since I'm no longer a shitty mess i can't relate or really even tolerate being in the same room as a drunk person. they piss me off!  >:(
Timbuk      <50/ 794  CD4 10/06 
                 <50/ 1096 CD4 3/07
                 <40/ 1854 CD4 4/09

Started Atripla  7/14/06
Switched to boosted Reyataz Truvada 3/28/07

*Ask me about Medical Marijuana and how it can help you!*

Offline chadnla

  • Member
  • Posts: 84
  • Relaxed in SoCal
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2006, 11:46:27 PM »
hey merlin,

i'd be happy to take some of that red wine off your hands <evil grin>  :)
"I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing."

Offline AustinWesley

  • Member
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    • HIV Discussion Group on Myspace!
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2006, 06:13:01 AM »
Hey There,

I was diagnosed in March and my counts are close to yours.  VL 24,000 and CD4 408.   I go back for 4th round of tests in January.   I used to drink a LOT more than I do now.   

I agree with some of the other folks here who said moderation is the key.   I still drink socially and at parties.    I didn't notice any difference in my counts from drinking over that period of testing.

However, I was in a relationship and we moved in together and during that stressful 2 months my counts dropped from 627 to 409.   I seriously think stress is the most damaging thing to my health.   Since I got the boyfriend out of my life my counts have remained steady and I've felt a Hell of a lot better.   

Along with dumping the ex, I also got rid of our poor eating habits and started cooking more myself with a lot of vegtables and I lost 20lbs. 

One thing I can say I've noticed is that my alcohol tolerance is much lower and often it makes me tired so I just don't enjoy it as much as I used to.   But, I am not a bar goer so I don't really feel the need to drink so much either now ;)   

I say all things in moderation is still the best advice and avoid stress!   
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 koi1

  • Member
  • Posts: 713
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2006, 11:04:28 AM »
The research out there in cyberspace found a connection between drinking and progression to AIDS in HIV+ people not yet on meds. Drinking not only affects your liver but your immune system. It is essentially a poison with limited (suspect) benefits. The two glasses of red wine a day to reduce your cholesterol crap is just another ploy from the wine industry to promote wine consumption. Now, I here that people on meds are enjoying materializing the spirits quite regularly without many complications. What I've gotten from people's posts is that moderation is the key. The only thing is that if you are prone to alcohol abuse, it could be very detrimental to your treatment if you miss doses or your abuse interacts with your meds in a dangerous way. I don't think there have been large scale studies to determine what is a safe level of drinking with the various regiments of AIDS medications. I know with antibiotics one is warned not to drink. And all my medical team has told me not to imbibe while on meds or any antibiotics without me asking them. Yes it is a personal decision, but make it an informed one. For now, I don't have the craving and see no point in it. But like I said maybe it is the depression and the craving will return once my life goes back to normal with the hope of starting meds soon. In any case I have not had a drop since that fateful day of 11/20/06.


« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 11:07:29 AM by koi1 »
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline FiercenBed

  • Member
  • Posts: 183
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2007, 08:15:24 PM »
when diagnosed i immediately started on meds. 1 of 12 questions i asked the the doc was can i drink alcohol. he replied yes. i guess i have to have previously called myself a 'self medicating alcoholic'. 2 drinks and a shot a day. mayb some wine on top of that. i mean i really enjoyed getting together w/ friends and drinking.
anyway 1 month in2 the meds i started having sever nausea. but i ploughed ahead and kept drinking. doc said there was nothing physiologically wrong w/ me. at no point did he ever say stop drinking.

well it came to the point i had the drink in my hand and became violently ill @ the bar. so im like well....mayb i should stop drinking <duh>. so after a week nausea went away. so i went cold sober for 4 months....is there no end to the misery of this disease?

well things settled down after 6 months and i was like ill try '1' drink. no problem. ill try 2 drinks....no problem. then i tried 3 and all hell broke lose. was sick for a week.  as long as i keep it down 2 2 drinks im fine. anything over is misery.

Offline Tucsonwoody

  • Member
  • Posts: 396
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2007, 10:14:18 PM »
In my case, I lost my love for beer and wine, which is what I would drink, a couple of months before I found out I was positive.  Usually only had a beer or glass of wine anyway and havn't missed it.  My doc told me I could have a couple of beers or glasses of wine or shots for that matter with no problem, but still have not regained my desire for it.

And I wished for guidance, and I wished for peace
I could see the lightning; somewhere in the east
And I wished for affection, and I wished for calm
As I lay there - Nervous in the light of dawn

Offline bimazek

  • Member
  • Posts: 781
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2007, 08:43:13 PM »
Alcohol very dangerous it seems from these studies with hiv

Chronic and even acute, moderate alcohol use can increase host susceptibility to infections caused by bacterial and viral pathogens. Impaired host defence after alcohol exposure appears to be linked to a combination of decreased inflammatory response, altered cytokine production, and abnormal reactive oxygen intermediate generation. Furthermore, cellular immunity, particularly antigen-specific immune response, is impaired by both acute and chronic alcohol use. Although T lymphocyte functions can be directly affected by ethanol, decreased antigen presenting cell function appears to be a key element in the ethanol-induced decrease in cell-mediated immunity. In addition, a preferential induction of Th2 vs Th1 immune response has been suggested, based on the increased immunoglobulin levels seen in chronic alcoholics. The effects of chronic and acute alcohol consumption in humans, animal models and in vitro systems on host defence and immunity are discussed in the context of the functional abnormalities of T and B lymphocytes, natural killer cells and monocytes/macrophages resulting in the altered immune response seen after alcohol use.

G Szabo - Alcohol and Alcoholism, 1999 - alcalc.oupjournals.org
... cellular immunity, particularly antigen-specific immune response, is ... by both acute
and chronic alcohol use ... decreased antigen presenting cell function appears to ...

1990 Jan 1;27(1):22-30. Links
    Reduction of immune function in life stress and depression.
    Veterans Administration Medical Center, Clinical Research Center on Alcoholism, San Diego, CA 92161.

    Reduced cell-mediated immune function has been found in depressed patients and in distressed persons undergoing threatening life events. The present study examines the interaction between severe life stress and major depression to produce immune alterations in 36 matched pairs of hospitalized depressed patients and nondepressed controls. Both major depressive disorder and the presence of threatening life events in control subjects are independently associated with a 50% reduction of natural killer (NK) cytotoxicity. A decrease in natural cytotoxicity is significantly associated with depressive symptoms but not with age, alcohol consumption, or tobacco smoking. These findings of altered immunity provide further evidence that the physiological responses in chronic stress parallel those found in the syndrome of depression.

Alcohol abuse and HIV infection have additive effects on frontal cortex function as measured by -
G Fein, CA Biggins, S MacKay - Biological Psychiatry, 1995 - Elsevier
... groups in the degree of systemic immune suppression. ... on P3A latency, consistent with
alcohol abuse worsening ... effect of HIV disease on frontal cortex function. ...

Effects of alcohol ingestion on in vitro susceptibility of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to
O Bagasra, A Kajdacsy-Balla, HW Lischner - Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 1989 -
... N INCREASE in chronic heavy alcohol (EtOH) use A and ... been shown to profoundly affect
various functions of the immune system  ... effects of various drugs on the immune If heavy .

Does alcohol alter the course of HIV-associated dementia complex? -
WR Tyor - 1999 - Soc Leukocyte Biology
... of the clinical, pathological, and immune abnormalities noted ... Thus, alcohol appears
to exacerbate the decline in frontal lobe function associated with...

Alcohol Abuse Enhances Neuroinflammation and Impairs Immune Responses 
R Potula, J Haorah, B Knipe, J Leibhart, J - 2006 - ASIP
... A, Persidsky Y: Alcohol and HIV decrease proteasome and immunoproteasome function
in macrophages: implications for impaired immune function during disease. ...

Chronic Binge Ethanol Consumption Accelerates Progression of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Disease -
GJ Bagby, P Zhang, JE Purcell, PJ Didier, S Nelson - Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2006 -

Offline AustinWesley

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    • HIV Discussion Group on Myspace!
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2007, 11:23:05 PM »
Hmm, well that study was depressing.   I'm tempted to go make a martini and forget about it ;) 

Here are 15 useful tips for Vodka:

1. To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. The Solvent dissolves adhesive.
2. To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a Trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set five Minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew.
3. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and kills germs.
4. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting Your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka disinfectsthe blade and prevents rusting.
5. Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, and then blot dry.
6 Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores.
7. Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair, and stimulates the growth of healthy hair.
8. Fill a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle and spray bees or wasps to kill them.
9. Pour one-half cup vodka and one-half cup water in a Ziploc freezer bag and freeze for a slushy, refreshable ice pack for aches, pain or black eyes.
10. Fill a clean, used mayonnaise jar with freshly packed lavender flowers, fill the jar with vodka, seal t he lid tightly and set in the Sun for three days. Strain liquid through a coffee filter, then apply the tincture to aches and pains.
11. To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your chest and back as a liniment.
12. To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka.
13. Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting.
14. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the Urushiol oil from your skin.
15. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth Allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.
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 mjmel

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,069
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2007, 06:56:47 AM »
As recommended, everything in moderation.  With regard to whether it hurts your body, I believe it's a matter of individual tolerance and/or inherent physical makeup (genetics). In the future, you will find that some meds will not mix well with alcohol. Your gut will let you know with unmistakable and distinct reaction(s). You'll pace yourself accordingly or give it up altogether. Until then, no harm unless in excess. Stress and needless worry are definitely destructive indulgences.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2007, 06:59:53 AM by mjmel »

Offline Jean-Yves

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  • Posts: 98
  • Meow!
    • Home for Sign of the Tiger
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2007, 10:30:46 PM »
I don't want to come off as condoning alcohol use but, I was diagnosed 7 years ago, and started meds right away. I have continued to consume alcoholic beverages ever since. I wash my meds down with bourbon and soda. I have progressed to the point where my CD4's are 679 and viral load is undetectable. I have never had any ill effects from drinking. This is just me, NOT for everyone, but if you want to use alcohol occasionally, It won't hurt the effectiveness of the meds.

Offline Zanarkand

  • Member
  • Posts: 96
  • All Your Base Are Belong To Us
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2007, 05:28:58 PM »
It has been founded that a chemical in Grape Wine can extend the life expectancies of lab rats 3 fold.
It's also been found that to extract that kind of chamical for human consumption;
You would need to drink about 100 litres of red wine a day!

It has also been found that small amounts of wine lowers Cholestrol and Stress.

I personally can't handle wine...  It makes me sleepy.... Incredibly so.

According to medical science... Small amount of wine = good for you
I'm not too sure about other alcohol
But moderation is the key.
If you overdo it; you can cause severe damage to your liver and end up poisoning yourself.

All Your Base Are Belong To Us

Offline mudman8

  • Member
  • Posts: 115
Re: Alcohol
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2007, 01:37:06 PM »
I believe that the chemical in red wine is from the red grape skins. It is being isolated and if not availble now it soon will be in a supplement.

I had to give up beer as it started making me sneeze, I'm talking a dozen wet nasty ones all in a row. try driving home from a bar doing that in all of 2 miles.

Now I drink a couple glasses of wine or one whisky for happy hour and a glass of wine for dinner. Tho my newly reduced busdget is going ot reduce this consumption even further.

Life is analog


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