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Drugs, Alcohol, and Safer Sex

for Veterans and the Public

Drugs, alcohol, and safer sex

Many drugs, including alcohol and methamphetamine, may affect your ability to make decisions.

Even though you take your HIV medications regularly and practice safer sex when you're not high, when you're under the influence of methamphetamine or other drugs you may be willing to take more risks and, for example, not use a condom or not take your HIV medications.

Alcohol also can affect the decisions you make about safer sex. For example, if you have too much to drink, you may not be able to remember where you put the condoms, and decide simply not to use them. These are decisions you probably would not make if you were sober.

These actions put your partner at risk for HIV and put you at risk for other sexually transmitted diseases or for pregnancy.

Remember to take your HIV medications every day, and to keep condoms handy in places where you might have sex. Also, try to limit the amount of drugs you use or alcohol you drink if you know you are going to have sex.