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Just like any other drug, methamphetamine can have a negative impact on your overall health, if you suffer from HIV-AIDS and you use the drug on a constant basis. The answer is very simple: meth can exhaust your immune system (which is already strongly affected by the infection), it can decrease appetite and promote bad eating habits. Moreover, using methamphetamine can lead to weight loss as well.
Using crystal methamphetamine is very dangerous for everybody, but it is particularly dangerous for those infected with HIV, as the drug can lead to long-lasting damage. Meth is commonly used by both heterosexual and gay people. In a nutshell, meth is a very strong stimulant that impacts the nervous system. This drug is commonly used nowadays simply due to that lasting feeling of happiness and well-being that it induces. As a matter of fact, this is what makes it so difficult for meth users to quit using it.
Crystal meth can be introduced in the body in a number of ways - it can be found under the form of pills, powers, or intravenous solution. The latter version (IV meth) poses another major risk - infection with viruses like Hepatitis or HIV, if the users share dirty, used needles. Moreover, snorting meth can cause serious lung problems in the long term.
In addition to sharing needles, another factor which can raise the number of HIV infection among meth users is sharing straws or crystal pipes - all that is needed for the infection to occur is a very small amount of blood that comes in direct contact with a cut, bruise or any other skin injury. Even so, sharing needles is among the risky behaviours that contribute to the proliferation of the HIV virus.
Crystal meth can affect those infected with HIV in many ways. The side effects of long-term use of meth are well-known: it can lead to poor nutrition, insomnia, dehydration or extensive damage to the immune system. The latter is particularly dangerous for those infected with HIV. Moreover, using meth may also make you forget to take your HIV medicine, and skipping antiretroviral drugs can decrease their efficiency in the long run, and can make them unable to fight the virus.
Both meth and HIV can cause depression, memory problems and insomnia, and they can also interfere with your cognitive function in the long haul. If you are infected with HIV, there should be some concern regarding the development of cognitive problems down the road. The cognitive function can be altered even more by the constant use of methamphetamine, regardless of its form.
Depression has been a serious problem that many patients who suffer from HIV or AIDS have to endure during the course of the infection. Prolonged use of meth is directly associated with severe withdrawal symptoms that usually occur 24-48 hours after usage. These withdrawal symptoms include severe depression along with suicidal thoughts and deep fatigue and restlessness. Having said that, adding the depression associated with the HIV infection, this can seriously impact one's physical and mental health over the years. Prolonged use of meth has been shown to give chronic depression, if used on a regular basis.
One of the main health risks caused by using meth is the high chance of becoming infected with HIV through unprotected sex, when you are under the influence of the drug. Crystal methamphetamine is known for increasing the sex desire and enhancing the sexual experience. Moreover, the drug is also known for reducing inhibition and giving a pleasant feeling of well-being, a liberating feeling that may lead to unprotected sex. Having said that, unprotected sex is a form of risky behaviour that puts you at high risk of contracting the HIV virus.
In addition to the high risk of becoming infected with HIV, there is another high risk of acquiring other STDs, from syphilis and gonorrhea to various forms of hepatitis, herpes or chlamydia. This happens due to unprotected sex while you are under the influence of crystal meth.
In conclusion, various blood-borne diseases may also be transmitted from one person to by using meth, based on how it's introduced in the body. If you are smoking meth, for instance, the crystal pipes can become extremely hot and cause someone's lips bleed - if the pipe is shared, blood can be transferred from one person to another, and lead to infection. The same principle applies to the straws used for snorting, or for needles used for injecting meth in the body. For preventing the infection with HIV, Hepatitis and other dangerous viruses, it is highly recommended never to share personal objects like the ones mentioned above with other people.
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