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Sharing HIV meds?

Dr. Demetre: I’m HIV negative. A friend who is positive said I could take his meds and they would protect me from HIV. Is that really true?
Dr. David: I’m a doctor.
Dr. Demetre: I’m Dr. Demetre.
Dr. David: And I’m Dr. David.
Dr. Demetre: We’re HIV doctors.
Dr. David: And we’re here to answer your questions on HIV and sexual health.
Dr. Demetre: Bottom line is that’s a really bad idea. First reason, if you’re taking their medicines, they’re not taking them. And they need to take them to keep themselves healthy and keep their viral load low and their T-cells high. So it’s not doing them any favor. The second reason is, someone needs to look after you if you’re on HIV medicines to prevent HIV. You should actually be engaged in care and realize there is a whole package of stuff that you get when you go to your doctor and talk about HIV prevention and STD prevention, so my advice is don’t take meds from a friend. Take your own meds. Go see a doctor and make it happen.

We’re used to sharing with your friends, so why not share HIV meds? Dr. Demetre explains why taking someone else’s HIV medications is a bad idea for both of you.

Bottom line, sharing HIV medication is not a good idea. If you’re taking someone else’s medicine, it means that they’re not taking them. And they need to take that medicine to keep themselves healthy. Also, a medical provider needs to monitor you if you’re taking HIV medications and find the best treatment plan that’s specific to your body.

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#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than HIV featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decision.

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