Category Archives: Cocaine and Street Drugs

Is the AIDS CD4 T-Cell Test a Measure of Fat?

RTB: We’re pleased to present another research essay by Cal Crilly. Cal has provided some truly groundbreaking work in understanding ‘Why retroviruses appear in autoimmune disease, cancer and Aids,’ and we recommend that you read his entire oeuvre, or body of work here at RTB, to follow his often whimsical journeys into wonderful and remarkable insight.

The AIDS CD4 T-Cell Test: A Measure of Fat?

by Cal Crilly

Well I swap the odd message with a HIV+ lady in Europe when I get to a net cafe every couple of weeks as I don’t know if anyone else does.

In her last couple of messages she said she “was worried about her CD4 count going down as the doctors would then harass her to take antiretrovirals” which in the past made her very sick. She also said that while her CD4 went down she felt better and heather than ever…

So I looked.

I have been an observer of the AIDS story for a good 13 years now, if I wander into a net cafe it’s because I noticed something you need to know.

I may be wrong about these observations but if I don’t mention them then no one else will say it….

So to me it looks like CD4 is mainly a marker for cholesterol and arterial plaque not the immune system. CD4 and CD8 counts goes up with cholesterol and nicotinamide will make cholesterol and CD4 go down because it’s a fat metaboliser. CD4 cells gather at the areas of arterial plaque and tell white blood cells to come and gobble up the cholesterol. Continue reading Is the AIDS CD4 T-Cell Test a Measure of Fat?

Clinical Trials in NYC Orphans

by Liam Scheff

The following is evidence in the long-running investigation into the use of toxic drugs on orphans in New York City in the Incarnation Children’s Center orphanage and in New York’s major hospitals, and then in Aids medicine in general.

Background on this story – here and here.

Below is the ICC webpage as it appeared when I first looked at it, in 2003. It was taken down in early 2004, after press attention focused on the practice of using orphans in government and pharma-sponsored drug trials.

The page announces the clinical trials then in progress, as well as making some strong statements about improvement of patient health without the admittedly toxic and potentially fatal standard Aids drugs. Continue reading Clinical Trials in NYC Orphans

Crack, Heroin and AZT: Creating the Aids Diagnosis in NYC Drug Addicts

“I know that some of you are taking medication. We have been distributing AZT from this clinic for years now. Do you think that the medicine has helped?”

“I can’t sleep at all since I tried it,” offered a woman staring into her folded arms. “I can’t get no one to help me get to sleep. And you know I’ve been to see you about this before Dr. Ram.”


RTB: This 1993 article details the repercussion of moving the poly-reactive Hiv tests to chronic drug addicts in New York’s poorer, Blacker neighborhoods. The poly-reactive Hiv test comes up positive for drug use – but the medical authorities now introduce a new drug – AZT – into the lives and bodies of drug addicts. To what effect?

Continue reading Crack, Heroin and AZT: Creating the Aids Diagnosis in NYC Drug Addicts

Women with HIV who regularly use crack are three times more likely to die

Gus Cairns, Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A US survey of 1686 women with HIV on antiretroviral treatment has found that the 29% who regularly or intermittently used crack cocaine were nearly 60% more likely to develop an AIDS-defining illness, and the 3.2% who used it persistently were three times more likely to die.

It also found that persistent users had baseline HIV viral loads that were on average three times higher than intermittent or non-users, and that this persisted throughout the study despite antiretroviral treatment. This was partly due to lower levels of adherence to HAART, but HIV disease progression in crack users and mortality in persistent users remained higher even when figures were adjusted for reported adherence and baseline viral load and CD4 count.
Continue reading Women with HIV who regularly use crack are three times more likely to die

Crack Cocaine’s Effect on HIV Disease Progression in Women: What Are the Major Outcomes?

http://www.jointogether.org/news/research/tprb/jan09/finkelstein-crack-cocaines-effect.html

Despite the central role of substance use in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic, the role of individual substances on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease progression has been a complicated puzzle. Cook and colleagues studied the impact of crack cocaine use among 1686 HIV-seropositive women in the Women’s Interagency Cohort Study between 1996 and 2004, the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Outcomes examined included death, AIDS-defining illness, CD4 count, and HIV viral load.

To identify the impact of crack cocaine specifically, researchers controlled for known potential confounders in multivariable analyses, including age, race/ethnicity, education, income, baseline HIV viral load and CD4 cell count, year of HIV diagnosis, study site, HAART adherence, and problem drinking. Analyses were based on patterns of use: 1203 women (71.4%) were nonusers of crack cocaine, 429 (25.4%) were intermittent users, and 54 (3.2%) were persistent users.

* Persistent use was significantly associated with increased death, AIDS-defining illness, and HIV viral load and with a decrease in CD4 count compared with nonusers.

* Intermittent users had an increase in AIDS-defining illnesses compared with nonusers and had intermediate CD4 counts and HIV viral loads.

Comments:

This study provides the most definitive evidence to date that crack cocaine use adversely impacts HIV disease progression clinically and immunologically in women. Although the authors are careful to note minor methodological deficiencies, from a pragmatic perspective, the HIV clinical progression puzzle as it relates to crack cocaine use in women has been notably elucidated.

Jeffrey H. Samet, MD, MA, MPH

Reference:
Cook JA, Burke-Miller JK, Cohen MH, et al. Crack cocaine, disease progression, and mortality in a multicenter cohort of HIV-1 positive women. AIDS. 2008;22(11):1355–1363.

Crack cocaine: effect modifier of RNA viral load and CD4 count in HIV infected African American women.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17127396

This report supports a view of deleterious effects due to cocaine use in humans.

University of Miami School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Miami, FL 33136, USA. rduncan@med.miami.edu
Continue reading Crack cocaine: effect modifier of RNA viral load and CD4 count in HIV infected African American women.

Cocaine and Intensity of H.I.V. Are Related in a Study of Mice

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C03EED7153FF936A25751C0A9649C8B63

February 15, 2002
By DENISE GRADY

Research in mice may help explain something that doctors have noticed in people who are infected with H.I.V.: cocaine use seems to make the disease progress faster and lead to more of the opportunistic infections that are the hallmark of AIDS.
Continue reading Cocaine and Intensity of H.I.V. Are Related in a Study of Mice

AIDS Gets A Kick-Start From Cocaine, Study Finds

By Maggie Fox
Health and Science Correspondent
2-15-2

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Cocaine not only makes people act recklessly — having unsafe sex that can lead to HIV infection — it can also give the virus a kick-start, scientists reported on Thursday.

Tests in mice show that cocaine helps the virus spread faster in the body, killing off more immune cells and reproducing 200 times faster than usual.

“Cocaine not only influences risky behaviors, it also has a direct and profound effect on the AIDS virus,” Dr. Gayle Baldwin, an AIDS researcher at the University of California Los Angeles who led the study, said in a statement.
Continue reading AIDS Gets A Kick-Start From Cocaine, Study Finds

Women, Cocaine and HIV

Seattle Treatment Education Project
Women, Cocaine and HIV
A “BABES Perspective”
October 27, 2003

Most people know that cocaine is “not good for you,” but many do not know of the harmful effects cocaine has in a person infected with HIV. There have been a few studies completed in the past few years on the influence cocaine has on health when is used by someone with HIV. None of the news is good.

Cocaine users often eat poorly, have unprotected sex and neglect their health, so it has been difficult to tease out which bad effects are due to the cocaine itself and which ones are due to the habits that go along with regular drug use. Research in mice helps explain why cocaine use seems to make HIV disease progress faster and lead to more of the opportunistic infections that define AIDS.
Continue reading Women, Cocaine and HIV

Cocaine Dramatically Accelerates HIV Infection

For the first time, UCLA AIDS Institute scientists have demonstrated in an animal model that cocaine use dramatically accelerates the spread of HIV infection. Offering a useful tool for examining other HIV-related risk factors, their findings are reported today in the online edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

“Cocaine not only influences risky behaviors,” explained Dr. Gayle C. Baldwin, associate professor of hematology-oncology and a member of the UCLA AIDS Institute. “It also has a direct and profound effect on the AIDS virus.”
Continue reading Cocaine Dramatically Accelerates HIV Infection

Drinking Increases HIV Progression

Patients Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy Progress Faster
By Buddy T, About.com
Updated: July 17, 2008

In the United States, alcohol problems appear to be more prevalent among people with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) than among the general population. Both alcohol abuse and HIV infection are believed to compromise immune function. In fact, alcohol use may accelerate HIV disease progression.

Recent research, published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, has found that HIV-infected patients with a history of alcohol problems, who are receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and are currently drinking, have greater HIV progression than those who do not drink.
Continue reading Drinking Increases HIV Progression

Link Between HIV Disease Progression And Alcohol Consumption

Article Date: 23 Aug 2007 – 5:00 PDT

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found a link between alcohol consumption and HIV disease progression in HIV-infected persons. The study appears online in the August issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

Alcohol use is common among HIV-infected persons, and its impact on HIV disease progression has been examined in in-vitro, animal and human studies. Alcohol may adversely affect immunologic function in HIV-infected persons by various mechanisms, including increased HIV replication in lymphocytes.
Continue reading Link Between HIV Disease Progression And Alcohol Consumption

Heterosexual transmission of HIV-1 associated with the use of smokable freebase cocaine – crack

1: AIDS. 1991 Sep;5(9):1121-6.
Chiasson MA, Stoneburner RL, Hildebrandt DS, Ewing WE, Telzak EE, Jaffe HW.
New York City Department of Health, AIDS Research Unit, New York 10013.

A study of risk factors for HIV-1 infection was conducted at a sexually transmitted disease clinic in an area of New York City where the cumulative incidence of AIDS in adults through mid-1990 was 9.1 per 1000 of the population and where the use of illicit drugs, including smokable freebase cocaine (crack), is common.
Continue reading Heterosexual transmission of HIV-1 associated with the use of smokable freebase cocaine – crack

Alcohol consumption increases HIV disease progression of patients receiving antiretroviral therapy

  • Both alcohol abuse and HIV infection are believed to compromise immune function.
  • A new study evaluates the relationship between alcohol consumption and HIV disease progression among patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
  • HIV-infected patients with a history of alcohol problems, who are receiving HAART, and are currently drinking, have greater HIV progression than those who do not drink.

Continue reading Alcohol consumption increases HIV disease progression of patients receiving antiretroviral therapy