Information on Alcohol and Drugs for people living with HIV

HIV and Alcohol & Drugs



In the New Zealand, ecstasy (often known as 'E') is an illegal class B drug.

Ecstasy has both stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. Its active ingredient is a synthetic drug called MDMA. Originally used in psychotherapy, from the late 1970s it started to be used on the club scene due to its ability to reduce inhibitions, give an energy boost, induce relaxation, and give intense pleasure by releasing the neurotransmitter serotonin.

The drug is sold in tablet form, and less frequently as a powder. After about 30 to 45 minutes the drug gives an intense ‘high’, which may last for several hours. Because the body becomes tolerant of the drug, people may end up taking larger quantities to induce similar feelings of euphoria.
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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.
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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.
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