October 17, 2014 at 9:00 am EDT | by Staff reports
Study finds HIV meds not impeded by other drug use

ARVs, gay news, Washington BladeNEW YORK — HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) and who use stimulants such as methamphetamine or cocaine can benefit significantly from antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, a new study finds according to AIDSMEDS, an HIV-related publication.

Publishing their findings in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) conducted a study of 1,313 HIV-positive MSM who started ARVs while participating in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. The data on the participants was collected between 1996 and 2012.

A total of 341 of the men reported using stimulants. The researchers found no significant correlation between any level of stimulant use and risk of death from any cause. Nor did an analysis that separately examined AIDS-related deaths and non-AIDS-related deaths indicate any correlation to stimulant use, researchers reported.

However, analyzing data on 648 of the men who did not have an AIDS diagnosis when they started ARVs, the researchers found that reporting stimulant use at any study visit was linked to a 1.5-fold increase in the odds of progressing to AIDS or dying of any cause, researchers report.

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