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.


  1. disgusted american says

    I only did crank as they used to call it when i was in my early 20’s – and it was to do housewrk/major cleaning…..or when I NEEDED to stay up late studying for college….but like all things – you grow up, and OUT of the bad things you did as a youngster now 54yrs old…and dont go near that crap…havent for decades.

  2. Polly Wanna Slap Her says

    “…meth users may have a deeper HIV DNA reservoir than nonusers…”

    What does that even mean? Can someone explain that kind of nonsense writing? Or just lazily parrot it like you understand it.

  3. Marc C says

    @POLLY WANNA SLAP HER: The theory is, that all people with HIV hide active virus in an area of the body that no amount or ART (Anti-Retroviral Therapy) will suppress completely. This is why when someone who uses ART goes off of ART, the virus returns.

    With this in mind, it is now believed that there is a trend in people with HIV who are methamphetamine users toward a deeper proviral DNA reservoir and more HIV RNA (which is used to replicate the virus even though the virus is supposed to be suppressed by ART.

    I hope this helps some.

  4. luminum says

    Wow, when confronted with scientific information he doesn’t understand, he asks questions AND gets hostile and defensive all in one go. Damn. What a one-two combo for learning…

  5. Herby B says

    It is written rather confusingly even though it’s a story we have heard before. What they neglect to mention is that once you stop using, the viral load drops back down to undetectable. I know a lot of HIV+ men who use/have used meth (stupidly) right before their blood test date and showed a viral spike. Being recreational users, their next labs showed undetectable viral loads.

    I’m not advocating meth use because that stuff is poison in my opinion. The article, however sparse, is a bit dramatic. And if you’re a meth head, chances are you aren’t reading it anyway and if you are, won’t remember any of it.

  6. Enchantra says

    METH is garbage. The one time I used it I thought it was coke. Snorting meth is like snorting fish hooks and the high is crappy compared to coke. Besides, look at what it has done to Little Kiwi

Leave A Reply