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Monday, December 8, 2008

The Buzz on HIV Drugs in Africa

People in South Africa are crushing their HIV medication and smoking it to get high.  The practice has been found in those to whom the drugs are prescribed, as well as others.  Both patients and healthcare providers have been caught selling the drugs for these purposes and patients are complaining that the lines are now too long, and they are not receiving their medicines.  Many have been robbed after collecting their prescriptions.

According to new reports, the drugs are crushed and sometimes mixed with painkillers and/or marijuana to be smoked.  The practice is most widespread amongst the youth -- specifically teenagers and adolescent adults.  Consumed in this fashion, the anti-retroviral drugs are said to be mildly euphoric and hallucinogenic.

Patients abusing the drugs risk building-up an immunity to them, as well as others in that medicine's class, opening themselves up to greater risks of developing full-blown AIDS.  Those who do not have HIV are exposing themselves to the side-effects of the drug.  Anti-retrovirals are only effective in combination.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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