If you are HIV-positive

Maintain medication adherence, even during chemsex. The viral load remains undetectable if HIV medication is taken daily following a strict dosing schedule.

Keep several days’ worth of medication in a coat, bag or keychain container.

Set an alarm on your phone for every time you need to take a pill. This also prevents you from forgetting to take your HIV inhibitors during the sex session.

If you struggle with your dosing schedule—e.g., because chems caused you to forget to take your medication or because your medication requires you to eat while chems suppress your appetite—raise the dilemma with your HIV counsellor. There may be a combined therapy that better suits your lifestyle.

During the crash, make sure your phone is charged and at hand; this makes you more likely to wake up from the alarms. Have your HIV medication and water ready nearby to make it as easy as possible.

Identifying and discussing problems with medication early is better than adjusting or stopping your dosing schedule on your own. You can call the service point of the Dutch HIV Association for tailored advice.

 Find out what to do if you forget to take your medication or if you throw up the pills. Click here for more information on testing for hepatitis C.

Interaction of chems and HIV medication

Chems seem to have relatively little negative impact on the effect of your HIV medication. However, using chems can cause you to forget to take your daily medication.  


  • The effect of some chems is amplified by certain HIV inhibitors, which can lead to an overdose at lower doses of chems
  • IV inhibitors known to amplify chems are Efavirenz (in the combination pill Atripla) and the “boosters” Norvir (ritonavir) and Cobicistat. Cobicistat is used in the combination pill Stribild.
  • Reduce your dose of chems if you use these HIV inhibitors, or ask your HIV counsellor to switch because you use chems and want to avoid overdosing.

Click here to learn more about the interaction between HIV medication and chems.