For HIV positive guys who use crystal, the demanding lifestyle of the user can lead to a lapse in taking HIV medications. It’s a drag to get lectured by your doctor, so let us kindly plant the seed: not sticking to your meds isn’t good for you in terms of viral load and replication. Once you’ve made the decision to take HIV meds, taking them as they’re prescribed is basic to taking care of yourself.

Using crystal, even occasionally, can cause weight loss and vitamin depletion. Sleep is essential to maintaining the immune system and with crystal you can stay awake for days. You can do the math there, right? Give your body and brain a break once in a while; catnaps here and there are better than no sleep at all. Poor nutrition and lack of sleep aside, all by itself crystal causes a drop in CD4 cells. We’re not just laying that on you to scare you!

Research suggests that crystal takes a major toll on people who are have weakened immune systems. Some of the research links increased dopamine, one of the brain chemicals we flood ourselves with when we use, to increased HIV replication while other research shows that HIV-related dementia might be accelerated in poz folks who use meth.