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Drugs & Alcohol
Harm Reduction

Harm Reduction

For the guys who find it difficult to make immediate changes to their drug habits/sexual lifestyle, harm reduction is the more appropriate option. Harm reduction looks at setting practical goals that reduce the damage caused by drug use or risky sexual behaviour, taking into consideration where a person is at in life and helping them out from there.

Some reasons you may engage in certain risk behaviours:

  • Allof your friends take similar risks, and you find it hard to do differently because they might not be supportive of you if you don’t. Perhaps you think that the benefits of the behaviour outweigh the consequences at this point in your life (i.e. This makes me feel happy/powerful/accepted/loved, so why stop?”). link to emotional/mental health section
  • You might not feel safe telling your partner (or partners) that you’d rather not engage in certain behaviour. You’re fearful that you’ll be dumped or physically harmed if you don’t do what’s requested of you (i.e., having unprotected sex, or using drugs).
  • You might be in a situation where you feel like you have no choice but to take those risks with your partner, friend, or client because of a lack of money, a place to stay, or because they provide protection in exchange.

Given an already compromised immune system, and complicated drug treatment, it is recommended that you avoid use of alcohol and recreational drugs if you are HIV-positive. If you do choose to mix HIV meds with party drugs, use less of the party drugs. Avoid certain drugs like ecstacy (E), ketamine (K), and speed (Meth) when on HIV meds, and always carry a condom with you, even if you don’t plan to have sex. Take a multivitamin the day of and the day after using substances, and remember to take your HIV meds at the right time.

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