Q and A


Is it safe to take alcohol with my HIV medication?

If I’ve been drinking, is it still safe to take Truvada and efavirenz?

If I go out for drinks with friends, I still take my medicine at the same time I usually do so as not to forget it. This means I sometimes taking it with alcohol. I don’t do this often but maybe once or twice a month.

While I’m sure it is not the healthiest thing to do, does it affect the efficiency of the pills at all?

Is it better not to take medicine at all on the occasions when I go out for drinks and take it the next morning?


Thank you for your question.

There is no direct interraction between alcohol and your HIV meds. However, there can be an indirect interraction between alcohol and adherence. For example if the drinking result in missed doses on a regular basis.

Taking alcohol once or twice a month with your treatment will not affect the efficacy of your HIV medication (ART). It might be an important part of your life.

Taking alcohol in moderation shouldn’t have an effect on your health or treatment. This is also dependent on not having other liver related probelms like hepatitis B or C.

In answer to your second question, it is not good to miss doses on the days that you go out.

Becasue your combination includes efavirenz, it is not a good idea to take your meds while you are still out drinking. It is better to take you meds when you come home than wait to the next day. It you tend to come up very late, it is better to take them before you go to sleep than waiting until you wake up the next day.

Also, becasue all your meds have good drugs levels even the next day – both Truvada and efavirenz last a long time – then all these options are actually likely to be okay.

If your combination used different drugs, this advice might be different – ie to take your meds with you so you can take them while you are out.

See this link for more information on the importance of adherence.

This answer was updated in January 2016 from a question first posted on 5 December 2011.


  1. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Shivan, congratulations on your pregnancy. Yes this is possible. As you have already started treatment this will help to greatly reduce the risk of transmission. Even starting at 8 months can really lower the chances. At 4 months this means the risk is already minimal.

    Baby will also be given their own medication after birth to help reduce the risk. What they are given and for how long depends on how well your own body responds to treatment e.g., your viral load at birth. This is explained further here: https://i-base.info/qa/19891

    Many women all over the world find out their HIV status during pregnancy. Many of these women will still go on to have healthy, HIV negative babies.

  2. Shivan

    Can I give birth to a baby who is negative with HIV while started taking arvs when my pregnancy was 4months already

  3. Simon Collins

    Please see this guide on HIV and pregnancy. You will need to be taking effective HIV treatment to protect your wife from the risk of catching HIV. These are also complex things that you should discuss with your doctor.

  4. ujjvalganesh

    how days maximum live with hiv takinnng art treatment,my wife wants second child she is negative,can its possible by test tube baby or other,in earlier there is hopes about cure of hiv,


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