Jan 13, 2013
I have an undetectable viral load and high CD4 count. I now want to try to try to put myself back into the dating scene. I know that if it gets sexual I need to wear condoms. I just need to know is it safe to take poppers to loosen up before sex. I am currently on Isentress and Complera. Would it be a deadly cocktail and what can I do, because I can't normally maintain an erection being penetrated nor do I ejaculate. I heard men with HIV should not to use poppers. Please advise.
Response from Dr. David Fawcett
Thanks for writing. Poppers should be used with caution. They don't mix with protease inhibitors (although neither Isentress nor Complera contain PIs) because of interference with liver enzymes, creating the potential for increased blood levels of certain medications. You mention erectile dysfunction. Poppers are a dangerous mix with ED drugs such as Viagra. The combination can cause a drop in blood pressure, increased heart rate, and even more serious problems like heart attack or stroke.
In my practice I see a high number of men who rarely or never have sex without poppers and/or mood altering drugs. Sex without the benefit of something to "loosen up" can be intimidating and intense for some, but a drug-free experience will ultimately be more much more satisfying (and safer).