HIV and mental health

Living with HIV not only takes a toll on the body but on mental health too. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which can be spread through sexual contact, the sharing of needles or genital body fluids, and even before birth through breastfeeding.

HIV reduces immunity by eliminating CD4+ T cells, which play a key role in fending off infections. People with HIV are more prone to contracting other infections and disorders as a result of the loss of these cells.

When the number of CD4+ T cells in the blood of a person living with HIV drops dangerously low and they get one or more serious infections, doctors may diagnose them with AIDS (less than 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood).

HIV and mental health are very much related to each other. People living with HIV suffer from many mental health issues over their life.

In this article, we are going to talk about how mental health and HIV are related, the most reported mental health issues seen in HIV patients.

We will also look into how to improve mental health in HIV patients. We all have some prejudices regarding HIV which we are going to address here too.

Most Common Mental Health Issues Faced by People Living With HIV

According to the WHO, AIDS has “substantial” effects on mental health. Up to 20% of PLWHA may develop psychiatric problems as their first medical signs of AIDS, and 38 to 73% of HIV/AIDS patients may experience at least one psychological condition in their lifetimes in addition to the usual emotional responses of “anger, guilt, denial, and despair.”


Among the mental health disorders that HIV patients may face, depression is among the most common. One 2019 review estimated that 31% of people who are HIV-positive suffer from depression.

A 2019 analysis underscores the potential significance of innate immunity in depression, in addition to stigma and stress. Biological alterations linked to depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation have been linked to the persistent stress and inflammation that HIV causes in the immune system.


HIV has also been linked to an increase in the prevalence of anxiety disorders. According to a 2019 report, approximately 20% of HIV-positive people in the United States suffer from Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

People living with HIV have a higher-than-average prevalence of anxiety disorders, including severe anxiety and social anxiety disorder, according to a review published in 2016 by a reliable source.

Suicidal Ideation

High rates of suicide ideation are all associated with HIV infection. According to a comprehensive evaluation conducted in Africa in 2021, around 21.7% of people with HIV had suicidal thoughts at some point. This increased rate is likely due to factors like deterioration in health, co-occurring disorders, stigma, and inadequate care. Lowering depression can prove to be a great suicide prevention measure.

Central Nervous System Disease

HIV is a major contributor to systemic inflammation. Inflammation of the central nervous system can create difficulties in the brain and spinal cord.

Daily dosing with an HIV drug cocktail known as antiretroviral therapy (ART) helps halt the virus’s replication and spread across the body. However, even with effective ART, HIV-positive persons still face a risk of developing neurocognitive disorders. These conditions may be neurological or neurocognitive (affecting the nervous system).

When compared to HIV-positive individuals who are not on ART, those who utilize ART are less likely to experience severe neurological deficits such as dementia, brain shrinkage, and encephalitis (brain inflammation). HIV is linked to both severe and milder kinds of central nervous system illness.

What Are the Reasons for Psychological and Biochemical Issues?

We have mentioned the typical HIV and mental health problems above. But what is the underlying cause? According to researchers, perceived stigma, and low levels of resilience influence the prevalence of these psychological issues.

HIV-positive individuals who are less resilient and score higher on the perceived stigma scale are more likely to develop the mentioned mental disorders.

Taking steps to strengthen the resilience of the individuals living with HIV and reducing the stigma surrounding it can lower the number of mental health issues.

The development of effective antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, ART has been linked to metabolic alterations, which has doctors worried. Doctors have noticed that blood glucose and lipid are abnormal in patients who are taking ART.

Antiviral agents, especially protease inhibitors, appear to have a stronger connection to these alterations. How often these metabolic abnormalities arise is the subject of many ongoing investigations. However, they will make patients more susceptible to heart disease or diabetes issues in the future.

Can HIV Medication Bolster Your Mental Issues?

Anti-HIV medications might have an impact on your mental and emotional well-being. Some people struggle with issues such as sadness, anxiety, restlessness, vivid nightmares, and vertigo. Most noticeably, this has a slight impact on those taking the following medications:

  • Dolutegravir
  • Efavirenz
  • Rilpivirine

The majority of issues are most prevalent in efavirenz users. Because of this, the British HIV Association no longer suggests using efavirenz as the first HIV medication.

People who have a history of psychological problems may have an increased risk of experiencing adverse effects if they begin taking one of these medications. Before beginning HIV treatment, it’s crucial to let the personnel at your HIV clinic know if you’ve ever experienced depression or any other issues. Efavirenz may not be the best option for you, especially if you have a history of depression.

Why Does an HIV Patient’s Mental Health Worsen Because Of Stigma?

HIV stigma refers to unfavorable perceptions of those who have the virus. The discrimination that results from classifying someone as a member of a group is what is deemed to be improper in society. Here are a few examples;

  •       Believing that HIV can only infect particular types of people
  •       Passing moral judgment on those who take action to stop the spread of HIV

People with HIV suffer emotional and mental health consequences as a result of HIV stigma and prejudice. People with HIV frequently internalize the stigma they encounter and start forming a poor opinion of themselves. They might worry that others will treat them differently or judge them harshly if they divulge their HIV status.

When a person begins to apply the negative beliefs and stereotypes about persons living with HIV to themselves, this is known as “internalized stigma” or “self-stigma.” Internalized HIV stigma can cause emotions of guilt, loneliness, and hopelessness. They might start keeping themselves isolated. Many even hesitate to get tested or receive HIV treatment due to these emotions.

How Does HIV Affect Depression?

Many medical practitioners think that depression will inevitably follow HIV patients. Although receiving the diagnosis will undoubtedly cause anxiety and anguish, sometimes to a degree that it interferes with functioning and may even result in suicidal ideation, this type of situation-specific emotional reaction is not the same as depression.

Supportive and other forms of psychotherapy, as opposed to medication, will be more effective in helping someone cope with the emotional discomfort caused by receiving an HIV diagnosis.

HIV can harm subcortical brain regions, resulting in HIV dementia and states that are misdiagnosed for clinical depression. Other physical and endocrine issues that might lead to mood changes can occur in HIV patients. Hepatitis, pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, and endocrinopathies are only a few examples of systemic diseases related to HIV infection that can mimic sadness. Malnutrition, particularly when it results in B6 and B12 deficiency, can also simulate depression.

HIV Medication May Trigger
Interleukin Depression, disorientation, and confusion
Steroids Mania or depression
Interferon Neurasthenia fatigue syndrome, depression
Stavudine Depression or mania, asthenia
Zidovudine Maina, depression
Efavirenz Decreased concentration, depression, nervousness, nightmares
Vinblastine Depression, cognitive impairment

Depression symptoms include:

  •       Regularly feeling depressed or empty
  •       Having a negative or dismal attitude
  •       A sense of worthlessness or guilt
  •       Feeling agitated or uneasy
  •       Loss of interest in things you normally love doing
  •       Decreased energy or weariness
  •       Shifts in sleeping patterns
  •       Modifications to appetite or weight
  •       Slowed down actions or utterances
  •       Problems with memory or attention
  •       Undiagnosed aches, pains, or gastrointestinal problems
  •       Suicidal ideation or past suicide attempt

Depression symptoms can differ from person to person.

Can Antiretroviral Drugs Cause Psychosis?

In some circumstances, yes. Patients with severe delusions, cognitive problems, hallucinations, and distortions of reality are referred to as having psychosis. Psychosis may be a symptom of psychiatric diseases including schizophrenia, affective disorders, or delirium.

According to studies, abruptly stopping antiretroviral therapy can significantly reduce psychiatric morbidity in HIV-infected people who experience sudden onset psychotic disorders in the absence of other recognized organic or other causative variables.

However, antipsychotic drug therapy can reduce psychotic symptoms and make it possible to resume antiretroviral therapy.

How To Improve Mental Health?

When you receive an HIV diagnosis, it is very normal to experience unpleasant emotions. These responses do not persist indefinitely. You may take better care of your psychological health in various ways, as mentioned in this article. Here are a few examples:

  1.   Start HIV drugs (ART) as soon as possible. An efficient ART regimen will boost and safeguard your health as well as the health of your sexual partners, and the awareness that you are doing this significant step may enhance your feelings toward yourself and the future.
  2.   Discuss your feelings with your service providers, friends, family, or other encouraging people.
  3.   Try to find stress-relieving activities, like exercise or a hobby.
  4.   To feel rested, make an effort to obtain adequate sleep each night.
  5.   Learn how to relax by practicing yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
  6.   Reduce your coffee and nicotine intake.
  7.   Throughout the day, eat small, wholesome meals.
  8.   Sign up for a support group.

The Happiness Analysis Among People, living with HIV

The assessment of 148 respondents’ responses to the study on PLWHA (people living with HIV AIDS) happiness in Denpasar yielded numerous conclusions, such that 62.17 percent of PLWHA in Denpasar reported feeling pleased, 30.40 percent reported being extremely happy, and 7.43 percent reported being less happy. Men’s percentages of happiness were 8.44 percent sad, 62.65 percent happy, and 28.91 percent extremely happy among the 83 PLWHA, while women’s percentages of happiness were 6.16 percent unhappy, 60 percent happy, and 33.84 percent happy among the 65 PLWHA.

The spirituality of PLWHA in Denpasar City is positively and significantly impacted by socioeconomic and environmental factors. Psychological factors, however, have little impact on the level of religion among PLWHA in Denpasar City. The contentment of PLWHA is unaffected by socioeconomic factors, psychological issues, or environmental variables in

The city of Denpasar. Religion significantly and favorably impacts the happiness of PLWHA in Denpasar City. Both socioeconomic and environmental factors, as well as happiness among PLWHA in Denpasar City, were fully mediated by religiosity, but the happiness of PLWHA in Denpasar City was not mediated by religiosity when it came to psychological aspects.

HIV Myth Busters

Due to my HIV status, I cannot become a parent

It might be safe for you to have kids. Your health care provider can advise you on how to eliminate or greatly reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus to your unborn child throughout the gestational period. To safeguard you and your unborn child while your pregnancy, your doctor will prescribe HIV medications. After birth, the baby can also get medicine.

If you have HIV, can you breastfeed?

In the US, breastfeeding is not advised for HIV-positive women. Researchers discovered that taking antiretroviral medication while nursing almost completely decreased the chance of HIV transmission. Less than 1% of infants who were nursed for a year, exactly 0.6%, acquired HIV via breast milk. The transmission rate, however, is not zero. Therefore, we do not suggest doing so.

If I have HIV, is it safe for me to marry someone who doesn’t have it?

Yes, but you have to be careful. It’s safe to hug your partner and kiss. There is no danger of HIV transmission if you are receiving HIV therapy and have an eradicated viral load. Another efficient method of preventing HIV infection during intercourse is by using condoms.

Can I, an HIV-positive participate in sports?

Yes! When it comes to sports, having HIV is no different from having HIV not. Everyone, even those with HIV health conditions, benefits from regular exercise and physical activity.

Does having HIV impact your career?

No. Many HIV-positive persons can have regular, healthy lives with the right care and treatment, which includes working. The majority of HIV-positive people can keep their current employment or hunt for new ones in their preferred fields. Being gainfully employed might help you live a more physically and financially stable life.

Bottom Line

Now it is possible to fight HIV with effective drugs. The journey of an HIV patient is tough and to get through it they have to strengthen their mental health. All they need is to know how to improve mental health. Joining discussion groups for HIV can help. HIV care institutions often provide these facilities along with treatment support.


Safe Sex for Poz People

A few sex tips for HIV-positive people universally apply to everyone. However, there is one thing that every person living with HIV should know: anyone can have safe sex, no matter their status.

And sometimes, people with HIV might ask, “Is anal sex safe for gay and heterosexual people who are HIV-positive?” The answer is yes, but you should take additional steps to ensure your and your partner’s safety.

This article will give you some safe sex tips and ideas to help you and your partner have a healthy sex life.

Safety Tips for HIV-Positive People. Essential

This section will cover the basic rules of safe sex for HIV-positive people. If you’ve ever asked a question like, “Is oral sex safe without protection?” or wondered, “How to have safe sex”—then these rules will be helpful for you.

We’ll address these tips under two headings:

When the two partners are HIV-positive

If you and your partner are living with HIV, you may have different strains of HIV. If you are taking medication and your viral load is undetectable, there is very little chance you will pass on the virus.

However, if you’re not taking medication or your viral load isn’t low enough to be undetectable, it’s best to use protection when having sex with an HIV-positive partner. You can also use condoms to prevent the transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases. The risk of passing on HIV or another STI is higher if you’re not taking medication or if your viral load is detectable, so it’s essential to take precautions.

When only one partner is HIV-positive

Where only one partner is HIV-positive, questions like “Can you get HIV with a condom?” are often asked.

It’s understandable, as it’s not always easy to know whether you should use protection, even if there’s only one HIV-positive partner. Most of the time, it comes down to the level of protection you want when having sex with an HIV-positive partner.

The first thing the HIV-positive partner should do is to get an ART. The more effective the treatment, the lower your viral load will be. This makes it less likely that you’ll pass on HIV to your partner while having sex.

However, even if you’re taking medication and have an undetectable viral load, we still recommend condoms as they provide extra protection against other STDs.

Another layer of protection for people having unprotected sex with HIV-positive people is PrEP and PEP.

PrEP is a preventive treatment that can help reduce the risk of HIV infection. It involves taking a pill every day. PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis and is a treatment that can help prevent HIV from developing in someone who might be at high risk of HIV infection.

You must start using PEP as soon as possible after a potential exposure to HIV, but you must also take it for 28 days. If you’re unsure of your partner’s HIV status, talk to them about testing together and sharing the results.

PEP is only effective if you take it within 72 hours of exposure to HIV. PEP may also be called post-exposure prophylaxis and is a treatment that can help prevent HIV from developing in someone who’s recently been exposed to the virus (for example, if you think your condom broke during sex or you’re not sure of your partner’s status).

LGBTQ+ Contraception and Safe Sex Features

The LGBTQ+ community has its own unique set of issues related to sexual health. For example, many people in the LGBTQ+ community have a higher risk of contracting STIs because they may not always use condoms during sex and are less likely than heterosexuals to get tested regularly.

This is partly because of the stigma surrounding homosexuality and bisexuality—which can make some people uncomfortable talking about their sexuality with healthcare providers.

But with the following sex tips, you can help ensure that you and your partner are safe from sexually transmitted diseases.

Stay up to date on vaccines.

If you’re gay, you might have asked, “Is anal sex safe?” Yes, it is, but only if you’re safe. You can help protect yourself and your partner by getting vaccinated against HPV and hepatitis A and B, which are spread through intimate contact.

Use your HIV drugs

Safe sex should be a concern for both partners. Drugs like ART, PrEP, or PEP can help keep you and your partner from getting HIV. If you’re on ART, take it as prescribed. And if you’re using PrEP or PEP, take them on schedule so they can protect you from HIV infection.

Birth control

Even if you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, when you’re anatomically suited for sex and reproduction, you can use birth control to help prevent pregnancy. If you’re female and have a uterus, many forms of birth control are available, including pills, patches, shots, IUDs, diaphragms and cervical caps, and sponges.

If you’re male or transgender and have a penis, you can use condoms to prevent pregnancy. And if you’re female or transgender and have a vagina, you can use condoms as well.

If you don’t want to get pregnant, you must talk with your doctor about which birth control method is best for you. Your doctor will help you decide which way works best for your body type and lifestyle.


LGBTQ+ people who ask, “Is oral sex safe without protection?” should know that oral sex can transmit certain STDs. This is because the mouth is a mucous membrane, meaning it has a high concentration of cells that can carry viruses and bacteria. The more skin-to-skin sexual contact there is during oral sex, the greater the chance of contracting an STD.

Gay and lesbian people also have special condoms designed for safe sex. These condoms are lubricated and have a larger reservoir tip to accommodate the different shapes of male and female genitalia. Also, there are condoms, designed for lesbians ( latex tissues for oral sex and finger condoms for fingering)


We’ll now look at some of the most common questions you might have about safe sex, especially for the LGBTQ+ community.

Do gay guys have to wear condoms?

Yes, gay men have to wear condoms if they are having sex. Many people don’t realize that the risk of getting an STD is just as high for gay men as for straight people.

This is because men who have sex with men are more likely to be exposed to HPV and other infections than their heterosexual counterparts.

Should lesbians use condoms for oral sex?

Lesbians who are worried about how to have safe sex should know that they need to use condoms for oral sex. Lesbians risk catching STDs and HPV, just like their heterosexual counterparts.

Oral sex can transmit infections between partners, so it’s essential to protect yourself and your partner with a safe barrier like condoms or dental dams.

Why are silicone-based lubes dangerous for gay men?

This is a common misconception that people have perpetuated. Silicone-based lubes cannot cause an infection because they don’t contain any harmful ingredients.

The biggest concern with silicone-based lubes is that they can be challenging to wash off and may stain clothing or bedsheets.

Can anesthetic lubes be dangerous?

Yes. While some people use anesthetic or numbing lubes to numb their anus and rectum, it can be dangerous. Anesthetic lubes don’t numb your skin or the tissue inside your body.

Instead, they contain ingredients such as lidocaine and benzocaine that temporarily numb your nerve endings, so you feel less pain when using them during anal sex.

You won’t feel it immediately if you sustain injuries or damage to your anus or rectum while using anesthetic lube. This can make it difficult to tell if there is any bleeding or if something is wrong until after the sexual activity has already occurred.

Another problem with anesthetic lubes is that the ingredients can be toxic to the body. Some doctors have expressed concern that the components in numbing lube could be harmful if used too frequently or over a long time. This is especially true if you have sensitive skin or allergies to certain chemicals.

Should you still use contraception if you and your partner are already HIV-infected?

People living with HIV who don’t want to conceive should still use contraception. Most forms of contraception won’t interfere with your ability to control your HIV infection.

It’s important to remember that no form of contraception is 100% effective, so you need to use condoms besides other methods. If you’re considering starting a family, talk with your doctor first. You can even give birth to an HIV-negative baby and provide breastfeeding if you are taking special anti-retroviral treatment.

Can you get HIV with a condom on?

You can get HIV/AIDS if you use a condom during sex. Condoms are highly effective at preventing pregnancy, but they don’t provide complete protection against STIs like HIV and herpes.

Using a condom every time you have sex is still your best defense against infection.

People With HIV and Passing a Drug Test

Living with HIV in today’s society can be difficult. With so many restrictions imposed on people infected with the virus, it can be difficult to cope with. We will explore many facets of the HIV community, such as who they are, the challenges they encounter, and how they deal with them.

In this post, we will figure out whether people with HIV can pass drug screening. Also, we won’t bypass the subject of HIV and cannabis compatibility as well as the weed effect on HIV-positive people’s immune system.

HIV people community. Who are they?

The HIV community refers to people who are living with HIV. In the United States, an estimated 1.2 million people are living with HIV, and approximately 38,000 new cases of HIV are recorded each year. San Francisco, in particular, has one of the biggest HIV populations in the United States, with an estimated 15,811 people living with HIV.

The San Francisco Bay Area has one of the country’s highest rates of new HIV diagnoses. In 2015, there were 734 new cases recorded, accounting for approximately 9% of all new cases reported in California that year. Here are some major points about HIV in the United States and the challenges faced by members of this community:

  • HIV affects people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
  • Fear of rejection by friends and family if they tell them they have the virus.
  • Because they are members of a minority group, people with HIV endure disproportionate rates of harassment and violence. This added stress can lead to greater infection rates and more challenging health consequences.
  • While significant progress has been achieved in recent years toward extending access to treatment for all Americans living with HIV/AIDS, much work remains to be done, particularly regarding racial and ethnic gaps in healthcare utilization and diagnosis rates.

What difficulties do HIV patients have in modern society?

Living in modern society can be incredibly tough for many people with HIV. This is because of the discrimination and challenges associated with HIV testing, drug treatment, and financial management. People with HIV often have to deal with the following problems:

  • Many people smoking and HIV patients cannot afford the expensive drugs required for therapy. This might result in financial issues as well as increased health risks.
  • Fear of being rejected by friends and family if they disclose that they have part of the HIV community.
  • There is a lack of understanding concerning marijuana and HIV-positive patients.
  • Fear of contracting HIV from injecting drug users and HIV
  • It can be especially difficult to get a job because many employers, having little knowledge about the Virus, refuse to hire people infected with HIV as a precaution.

The problems that LGBTQ+ people with HIV face

The discrimination and stigma faced by LGBTQ+ people with HIV are well-known due to the rise of HIV in the gay community according to the human rights campaign stats. This will keep you asking is HIV a gay disease?

People who are gay, HIV+, or any LGBTQ+ community member face a lot of prejudice and stigma. We need to know about these problems to help our loved ones properly.

These include 

  1. LGBTQ+ people face discrimination in accessing health care due to ignorance by healthcare providers refusing to accept them, especially HIV gay men patients.
  2. Financial hardships, as many are unemployed or underemployed, owing largely to their condition.
  3. They may also find it difficult to find a partner due to social stigmas attached to this group of people. Due to such barriers, support groups play an important role in helping gay men and HIV people in general. In turn, this helps reduce isolation and build solidarity among the community.
  4.  There is much evidence that Lesbian HIV patients are given a bad name, according to reports in the United States of America. We must be aware of these problems to help our loved ones with HIV in the best way possible. For example, using condoms can help prevent not only unplanned pregnancies but also sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), like HIV.

To be an effective ally, you also need to know what people living with HIV want and need. For example, if someone has HIV and doesn’t get treatment, it may be hard for them to function in society. You should be able to get them to go to any health facility, so they can live healthy lives.

HIV and drugs. Do they match?

It is considered that this is not unusual for HIV-positive people to abuse drugs, which is almost always a mistake. But unfortunately, HIV-positive individuals are more likely to transmit the infection through intercourse or needle-sharing drugs.

Some people with HIV may justify using drugs claiming that it eases living the viruses. But does weed help your immune system? You can ask your doctor for more information. However, drugs can also hurt your health, especially if you are an HIV patient, so this could answer the most frequent question.

Methamphetamine (also known as crystal meth), heroin, injected drugs, and cocaine strain the body and decrease its resistance to infection, increasing the risk of overdose and transmission.

Drugs can also cause a variety of health problems, including:

  • abdominal pain;
  • brain damage;
  • bruises and cuts;
  • colds and flu that last longer than usual;
  • constipation or diarrhea;
  • cracked lips;
  • depression;
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing.

What must HIV-positive people do to pass drug tests?

There are a few things to remember when trying to pass a drug test for HIV-positive people. One is that most tests look for drugs specifically, rather than just markers of drug use. This means that THC, the compound responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects, won’t typically appear on drug tests unless you’ve been using marijuana heavily recently.

Second, some drugs can still appear on standard drug tests even if you’re abstaining from the substances. It can happen in case you use other medicine which may impact drug test results. That’s why it’s important to speak with your doctor about the compatibility of the medicine you take and drug tests.

And finally, no matter how careful someone is during their recovery period or how well they heed advice not to use any illicit substances whatsoever while undergoing treatment, there is always the risk of testing positive for trace amounts of narcotics or other drugs long after they have stopped taking them altogether.

It is called “false positive testing” which may occur quite rarely depending on various factors. However, as long as someone has followed through with all their treatment goals and remains honest and transparent about their status regarding HIV/AIDs medication therapy, etc., chances are good that passing a drug test will remain relatively straightforward.

Is there any risk of HIV-positive people failing drug tests?

Passing drug abuse tests might be challenging for HIV-positive individuals who want to apply for a job that requires a drug test. To begin, the patient must be able to pass the test without using any medications or supplements that could hide the presence of drugs in the blood. Second, try to avoid eating too much food or drinking too much water before your appointment — this can make it harder for labs to detect any traces of drugs in your system.

From this stage on, recommendations for passing a drug test don’t differ from the common ones. There is a detailed step-by-step in instructions on what types of drug tests exist and how to pass them successfully.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is HIV more common in gay men?

There is still much unknown about the causes of HIV. Still, some researches suggest that HIV in the gay community may be a big problem. In the 80s, it was quite common to think that members of the LGBTQ community may be more likely to get HIV because the knowledge people had about HIV was not sufficient and gay people, as well as people with any other genders and sexual orientations, were afraid of being known to have HIV/AIDS.

People who have sex without using condoms are at a greater risk of getting HIV regardless of their sexual orientation. There is also a higher risk of HIV infection when one partner is coinfected with other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

What should I do to prepare for a drug test having HIV?

You may do a few things to get ready for your drug test.

  1. You can use FDA-approved home testing before your drug test. These tests can help you establish whether or not you have HIV.
  2. Some people use pre-packaged over-the-counter supplements such as Probiotics and Enzyme Plus to increase their chances of passing a drug test. However, before taking any supplements or pharmaceuticals, please consult your healthcare practitioner first.
  3. Drug test preparation might include anything from getting enough rest to consuming enough water. Drink plenty of water and avoid high-sugar drinks the days before your test to stay hydrated and avoid fainting out on the drug test.

How many gay people have HIV?

There is no definitive answer to how many gay people have HIV, as there is no comprehensive study on the prevalence of HIV among gay people. However, according to a 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 2% of men who have sex with men (MSM) are infected with HIV. This means that around 20,000 MSM in the US is currently living with HIV.

What are the most commonly detected substances in an HIV drug test?

An HIV drug test will screen for several chemicals a person could use. Cocaine, ecstasy, crystal meth, and other narcotics are examples of these substances. It is critical to screen for all probable chemicals to detect any infection.

Can I take a drug test if I have HIV?

If you are HIV positive, you can undergo a drug test. But keep in mind that there are a few things to consider first. Because some substances can interfere with HIV treatments, it’s critical to consult with your doctor or an expert about the best way to take a drug test. Furthermore, several AIDS regimens enable persons infected with HIV to take specific classes of antiretroviral medications as long as their viral load is reduced. This means that the virus is not being expressed, and the patient is not detectable through testing.


People with HIV live in a complicated world filled with discrimination and misunderstanding. Despite this, they continue working hard to provide for themselves and their families. This post discusses the challenges HIV patients encounter in modern society and how to deal with drug tests. We also provide information on how to pass HIV tests, which employers frequently need.

There may be obstacles while attempting to pass an HIV drug test, but anything is possible with proper planning and approach. Remember that you are not alone; there have been many others who have experienced and overcome similar obstacles before you. Consultation with a medical practitioner ahead of time can help lessen the likelihood of any difficulties during the process.

Finally, we all should remember: human rights and HIV are related. One of the factors contributing to the HIV epidemic is the violation of human rights. We all deserve a fulfilling life.

Moupali Das


Moupali Das, M.D., M.P.H., is the Director of Implementation Science and Evaluation Research in the HIV Prevention Section at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Divisions of Infectious Diseases and HIV/AIDS at San Francisco General Hospital at the University of California, San Francisco. She is a board certified Infectious Diseases clinician/HIV specialist with research expertise in implementation science and operations research, in particular, using routinely collected HIV surveillance data to evaluate the impact of a comprehensive public health approach to HIV, including multi-level HIV prevention interventions. She has developed a novel population-based biologic indicator, community viral load (CVL), for monitoring the HIV epidemic prevention and control. Her manuscript on CVL (Das, PLOS One 2010) has been cited as the basis for measuring CVL in President Barack Obama’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and provides the framework for the NHAS recommendation that CVL be used as an outcome measure to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy. Currently, she is refining the CVL methodology and exploring using CVL as a marker for several planned multi-level HIV prevention trials.

Dr. Das’s expertise in the field has been recognized by invitations to advise various federal and international entities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health and Human Services, Office of Management and Budget and World Health Organization and by her appointment to the Institute of Medicine Committee on Reviewing Data Systems for Monitoring HIV/AIDS Care.

In addition to her research and policy work, Dr. Das is a dedicated clinician-educator who takes care of HIV-infected patients at San Francisco General’s historic Ward 86, attends on the inpatient Infectious Disease service, and teaches and advises numerous medical students, residents, fellows, researchers, and interns. She is passionate about addressing health disparities among disproportionately affected populations as well as increasing educational opportunities and the representation of underrepresented students in science.

Jenna M. Rapues

Jenna Rapues

As a health worker for the HIV Prevention Section of the SF DPH AIDS Office, I currently provide technical and programmatic assistance to the San Francisco Disclosure Initiative, facilitate the bi-monthly Transgender Advisory Group meetings and provide health education and safer sex materials to high school students within the San Francisco Unified School District – Condom Availability Program.

My recent responsibilities with the HIV Prevention Section include HIV6 and PCRS data entry and quality assurance, technical support for the data and evaluation team, programmatic and evaluation support for the Prevention for Positives Project. Co-supervised Neighborhood Health On Wheels staff including outreach and testing services. Assisted with NHOW data management and reporting.

My hobbies include spending quality time with my family and friends and admiring expensive handbags.

For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?

Bell Hooks

Contact Us

Phone: +14154376200

Our office is located at:

Community Health Equity & Promotion Branch

Department of Public Health

25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 500

San Francisco, CA 94102

We are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. We close for lunch 12 to 1pm. Our phone number is 415.437.6200.

If you are a member of the press, please contact the San Francisco Department of Public Health Media Relations Office.

GPS 37.77582264849119, -122.41999277050246


About Us

SFHIV.ORG San Francisco Health Information Viability

The focus area guiding our vision is to reach optimal health for people at risk or living with HIV. CHEP supports this vision by making sure all of its prevention efforts contribute to:

  1. Decrease the number of new infections
  2. Increase the percent of individuals newly diagnosed with HIV who receive care
  3. Increase the percent of individuals HIV infected who are virally suppressed
  4. For over three decades community members and local organizations have partnered with the Department of Public Health to design and deliver HIV prevention services. San Francisco continues to lead in the fight against HIV, and we are proud to share in these efforts.

What we do

For more than twenty years, community members and local organizations have partnered with the San Francisco Department of Public Health to design and deliver effective HIV prevention services. These collaborations have been so successful that across the nation, this type of public-private partnership for prevention is called the San Francisco Model.

Effective HIV prevention is sex-positive and built on the knowledge of those most affected by HIV. Because everyone is different, we work to reduce harm in a manner and pace appropriate to individuals and their communities. We believe that to achieve optimal Health services, we must include all the diversity that makes San Francisco such a vibrant city.

We are committed to engaging you as a partner in leadership as we collectively assume the responsibility for ending the HIV epidemic. We encourage you to use our website to exchange information, best practices, community needs, and emerging concerns. We are all in this together, and your active participation will insure the continuation of our San Francsico Model.

Our mission

Our Mission is to reduce HIV infection through promoting health and enabling individuals and communities to increase control over conditions affecting their health. In 2004, we implemented some challenging, but (we think) achievable goals. By the end of 2008 our goals are to:

  1. Reduce new HIV infections among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and male-to-female transgendered persons by 50%
  2. Reduce new HIV infections among injection drug users by 50%
  3. Eliminate new infections among women, and men who have sex exclusively with women
  4. Eliminate perinatal infections

The Healthy Penis Campaign Begins in May to November 2013

Over 85% of all new infections of HIV and Syphilis in San Francisco are among gay men. What is known is that once someone learns that they have HIV/STDs, they are much less likely to pass it on. Therefore, increased HIV/STD testing will lead to fewer new infections. Also, when people learn that they have HIV, get in to care and on medications, they can achieve a much lower and even undetectable viral load which at an individual level reduces the chances of infecting partners while increasing the well being of the community as a whole.  Increased screening and treatment greatly reduces the chance of transmission.

The Healthy Penis Campaign is a partnership between the health department, community testing sites, and retail businesses of the Castro. Its main objectives are to create high levels of visibility around the message “Get Tested for HIV and STDs every 6 months” and to create a new community norm around HIV and STD testing in an effort to reduce new infections in the gay community.

This is how the campaign works:
A person gets an HIV and/or STD test, receives a discount coupon and a Healthy Penis stress toy, and redeems the coupon at one of over 30 businesses in the Castro neighborhood. As the campaign becomes more visible in the community, more people will get tested. Testing sites are:

We want to thank the businesses listed below for their generosity. It is clear that they care for the people of the Castro Community. Note: some business are participating for all 6 months of the campaign.

May June July August September October-11/16
1. Starbucks

2.Café Flore



5. Sunglass Hut

6. Mudpuppy’s

7. Conant Med. Group

8. Philz Coffee

1. Squatgobble

2. Firewood

3. Sunglass Hut

4. Mudpuppy’s

5. Books Inc.

6. Hot Cookie

7. Max Muscle

8. Entour

9. Philz Coffee

10. Kenneth Wingard

11. Alex Gym

1. Sunglass Hut

2. Levis

3. Firewood

4. Sui Generis

5. Merch

6. Cove Café

7. Spikes

8. Hot Cookie

9. Philz Coffee

10. Alex Gym

1. Firewood

2. Spike’s

3. Sundays Tanning

4. Sunglass Hut

5. Philz Coffee

6. Slider Bar

7. Alex Gym

1. Kenneth Wingard

2. Sunglass Hut

3. Alex Gym


5. Firewood

6. Philz Coffee

7. Slider Bar

1. Sunglass Hut

2. Alex Gym


4. Firewood

5. Philz Coffee

6. Slider Bar

For further information about the campaign please contact Joe Imbriani, 415-437-6213

Grant Colfax

Grant Colfax MD
Director of HIV Prevention & Research
[email protected]

Grant Colfax, MD, is Director of the HIV Prevention and Research Section in the San Francisco Department of Public Health AIDS Office.

Dr. Colfax is an NIH- and CDC-funded research scientist whose main focus is on developing interventions to reduce HIV and HIV risk behavior in substance-using populations. Most recently, his research has focused on the relationship between methamphetamine use and HIV risk behavior among men who have sex with men (MSM). He is currently Principal Investigator of several behavioral and pharmacologic interventions to reduce methamphetamine use and HIV risk behavior.

Dr. Colfax has authored multiple papers on the relationship between drug use and sexual risk which have appeared in peer-reviewed journals.

In addition to his research activities, Dr. Colfax is a clinician at the University of California’s Positive Health Program, where he treats persons with AIDS and those at high-risk for HIV.

LINCS (Linkage, Integration, Navigation, and Comprehensive Services)

LINCS (Linkage, Integration, Navigation, and Comprehensive Services) provides coordinated comprehensive Linkage to care, navigation and partner services for HIV-positive people living in San Francisco. If you working with a person who recently tested positive for HIV  and could benefit from partner services and/or linkage to care, please contact LINCS staff at 415.487.5506. If you are working with an HIV-positive person who has fallen out of care and could benefit from assistance with re-connecting with care providers, please contact the LINCS Navigator at 415.437.6233.

THC Detox and Best Ways to Get Weed Out of Your System

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are two chemicals found in cannabis. These compounds stay in the system after use.

The length of time it takes to get weed out of your system is determined by your THC detox procedure. In most cases, the fastest approach to clear your system in 24 hours for a drug test gets the job done on time. Abstinence is one method of marijuana detox. Detox beverages for marijuana, and other methods  like Toxin Rid and Mega Clean are also available.

So learn more about how to get out weed of your system, cannabis detox side effects, how drug tests operate, and find how do detox drinks work.