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Avoiding Drugs and Alcohol

Individuals diagnosed with HIV can expect to live nearly as long as those who are not infected with the virus, if they receive appropriate health care and lead a healthy lifestyle.

In fact, some HIV-positive individuals are more likely to die from alcohol use, COPD (lung changes from smoking) and drug overdoses than from HIV-related complications.

HIV-positive individuals should be aware that:

  • Using drugs, alcohol and smoking can affect long-term quality of life. (Learn more about our addiction treatment services.)
  • Drug and alcohol use are major factors in the spread of HIV infection
  • People with HIV are more likely to smoke than healthy people
  • In people with HIV, smoking can make it more difficult to fight off serious infections

Answers to Common Questions

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What do drugs and alcohol have to do with HIV/AIDS?

I already have HIV/AIDS, so what if they put me at higher risk? Will using make me sicker?

How do I stop using?

What if I'm not ready to stop using?

Will smoking make me sicker if I have HIV/AIDS?

Are you ready to quit? How do I stop smoking?

Where can I get more information?

What about my drug/alcohol/smoking should I tell my doctor?

What questions might I want to ask my doctor?

Appointments & Referrals