Study: Meth Particularly Damaging To HIV-Positive Men, Accelerates AIDS

As if any more reasons were needed to stay away from crystal meth, the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project has posted the results of a study from the University of California, San Diego observing the effects of methamphetamine use tied to T-cell activation and proliferation in men on ART. The results are not good. From the study:

Crystal methUS men who have sex with men (MSM) who used methamphetamine had greater T-cell activation and proliferation than nonusers, even though they had an undetectable viral load [1]. This San Diego study of 50 men also produced evidence that meth users may have a deeper HIV DNA reservoir than nonusers.

Compared with HIV-positive people who do not use meth, those who do have a higher risk of cognitive impairment and faster progression to AIDS [2,3], noted researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

The use of other recreational drugs did not have a significant impact on the findings. The UCSD team speculated that the results could explain why meth users have increased HIV transmission and worse progression of the disease.