Crystal meth use can cause two key bodily changes and lead to one significant behavioral change that speeds development of drug resistance.
Cellular Death: Meth use can stimulate the secretion of a protein called tumor necrosis factor, which triggers CD4 cells to self-destruct. HIVers already have higher levels of tumor necrosis factor than uninfected individuals.
Metabolism: Meth can cause anti-HIV drugs to be eliminated from the bloodstream too quickly. HIV can easily mutate resistance against the low levels of drugs that remain in the bloodstream.
Adherence: Meth use can lead to missed antiretroviral doses, which in turn can lead to drug resistance and treatment failure.