October 23, 2013 | by Staff reports
UCLA to study substance abuse and HIV
blood, gay news, Washington Blade, substance abuse

For the study, researchers will establish and maintain an extensive repository of tissue, blood and fluid samples. (Photo by Daniel Gay via Wikimedia Commons)

LOS ANGELES — The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) a $7 million grant to investigate the links between substance abuse and HIV among Latino and African-American men who have sex with men, the university announced.

Researchers will examine how non-injected drugs and alcohol can directly interact with the virus and other infectious diseases, to damage these men’s health. Enrollment in the study begins in January, the school announced in an article on its news portal.

Called MASCULINE (MSM and Substances Cohort at UCLA Linking Infections Noting Effects), the study will be led by Pamina Gorbach, a professor of epidemiology at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health and a professor of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Steven Shoptaw, a professor of family medicine at the Geffen School and director of the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine.

For the study, researchers will establish and maintain an extensive repository of tissue, blood and fluid samples.

The study will involve a cohort of young substance users — particularly users of stimulants — who have poor histories of adhering to antiretroviral treatment, allowing researchers to test the biological influences of substances on immune function, the University announced.

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