HIV/AIDS Skepticism

Pointing to evidence that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS

Recreational HIV drugs

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/12/08

Getting high on HIV drugs in S Africa [Alka Marwaha, BBC News, 8 December 2008]

Anti-retroviral drugs used to treat HIV/Aids are being bought and smoked by teenagers in South Africa to get high. Reports suggest that the drugs are being sold by patients and even healthcare staff for money. . . . Aids patients themselves have been found smoking the drugs instead of taking them as prescribed. . . . Smoking the pills has a hallucinogenic and relaxing affect. . . . ‘When you look at them, just a few seconds after taking it, they are in another world’ . . . . The children do not know where they are and they stop making sense. . . . It had now become a national problem in South Africa . . . . ‘people who are healthy, that are taking this medication are exposing themselves to potential side-effects of these drugs’”.

9 Responses to “Recreational HIV drugs”

  1. Frank said

    Just when you thought the lunacy couldn’t possibly get any deeper…

    Does anyone know which of the drugs these kids are smoking? Do the kids even know which drugs they are smoking? Are these drugs psychoactive when smoked?

  2. Martin said

    Casanova said: “In the hands of a wise man, poison is medicine, in the hands of a fool, medicine is poison.”
    These days, doctors can no longer be trusted to distinguish between the two (medicines & poisons).

  3. MacDonald said


    These stories have been out for a few months now. The fact that they keep reappearing indicates the problem is real.

    Here is a report from September about claims that patients in a clinic smoked their drugs instead of eating them (one has to appreciate the subversive humour in that). The favoured drug was Stocrin, supposed to have effects comparable to heroin.

  4. Sepp said

    Frank asks the good questions.

    Could it possibly be conceivable that manufacturers of these drugs lace them with some kind of hallucinogenic/relaxing drug, perhaps in an effort to increase compliance by giving them an addictive effect?

    Chemical analyses of the drugs would seem in order…

    • Henry Bauer said


      Please don’t give the drug makers any more such great ideas as making antiretrovirals addictive 😉

  5. Martin said

    “STOCRIN * is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor of human immunodeficey virus”; it’s hard to imagine that Stocrin has properties similar to opiate drugs like heroin.

    With respect to the so-called “addictive” properties of AIDS drugs like nucleoside (and non-nucleoside) analogues, many gay men may be “addicted” to the suffering caused by these drugs — in a self-flagellating masochistic way. Overcome with guilt for having their disease, they feel obligated to punish themselves with ARV “therapy”.

  6. umber said

    Is it possible that these guys should have been mislead reading this article?

    I have another question : As efavirenz is an urethane, what is the stability of urethanes against acids?

  7. Stefan R. said

    Interesting news (from ARAS):

    “….”The concoction of Stocrin and dagga (marijuana) is very dangerous and eventually leads to death. The drug mixture breaks down the immune system and reduces the resistance of the body,” said Anwar Jeewa, director of the Minds Alive rehabilitation centre. ….”

    I am no chemist, is there a plausible reason why Stocrin & marijuana leds to immune system breakdown (i.e. AIDS) whereas Stocrin without marijuana is supposed to cure the same disease?

    • Henry Bauer said

      Stefan R.:

      It’s not clear to me from the news item whether the mixture is swallowed or smoked — not that I could venture a guess about the chemistry in either case, but it would certainly be quite different

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