Information on Alcohol and Drugs for people living with HIV

HIV and Alcohol & Drugs



Cannabis can be smoked, usually with tobacco, eaten, drunk in a ‘tea’ or snorted as a snuff. The drug affects the central nervous system, and as a result, users may experience relief from pain, feel light-headed, relaxed, or sleepy. The drug can also stimulate appetite; the so-called ‘munchies’. However, cannabis is also known to impair co-ordination, can cause nausea and vomiting, as well as emotional and mental health problems such as anxiety and paranoia, which in long-term use may become chronic.

Cannabis is a depressant, meaning that it slows down the messages between the brain and the body. The high from smoking cannabis normally takes effect within minutes and can affect a person for about two to four hours.
Stacks Image 939413
The above information sourced and edited for New Zealand form contained on
It is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Please talk to your doctor or another member of your HIV specialist for advice tailored to your situation.
Stacks Image 997537
If you find that you can not control your use of alcohol or other drugs, would like to cut back or stop or would like any other support in this area, Body Positive may be able to help.
To talk to us about getting help, please contact us on 0800 HIV LINE
The NZ Drug Foundation has resources on being safer when using alcohol or drugs. They have also released The Level as a straight up guide for people who use drugs.
Stacks Image 995484
Stacks Image 995501
Stacks Image 995467
Stacks Image 995473
Stacks Image 995504
Stacks Image 995507
Stacks Image 995491
Stacks Image 995512
Stacks Image 995517
Stacks Image 995514

Join Body Positive

By becoming a member you will be able to access all the services we offer, as well as support and updates to help you live better.


Want to be keep up with whats happening at Body Positive?
Subscribe to our newsletter below by submitting your e-mail address.
Services     |     Living with HIV     |     Events
Stacks Image 1019308