Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Crystal methamphetamine use increases HIV risk

03.03.2004


The use of crystal methamphetamine by men who have sex with men (MSM) increases the risk of HIV transmission and can cause complications in those who are already HIV-positive, according to an article in the March 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.



Highly popular with young people who frequent dance clubs, crystal meth and its cousin "Ecstasy" both induce a feeling of elation and alertness. This sense of well-being is dangerous, though, as it lessens inhibitions and can lead to unprotected sex with multiple partners. HIV rates are high among methamphetamine users, putting younger MSM at an increased risk for infection.

Meth-induced lapses in judgment leading to promiscuous sexual behavior make users more likely to contract HIV, but the drug itself could also increase the risk "because it may suppress a part of your immune system that’s important in fighting off HIV," said Dr. Antonio Urbina, lead author of the study. Furthermore, he said, meth and its analogs, such as "Ecstasy," can be fatal when mixed with certain antiretroviral treatment (ART). In addition, HIV-positive meth users on HIV medications are missing more doses and are likely contributing to the spread of drug-resistant strains of HIV, said Dr. Urbina.


Among HIV-positive patients not receiving ART, meth use may increase the risk of developing HIV dementia, a condition associated with reduced motor and verbal skills. Methamphetamine decreases dopamine transporter levels, causing symptoms akin to those of Parkinson’s disease, and when combined with HIV’s toxic effects on the brain, "there’s an overlap in neurotoxicity between methamphetamine and HIV," said Dr. Urbina. "That’s potentially the most serious side effect."

Getting the word out to young people about the risks of meth use may be difficult. "I really think there’s a lack of information about the catastrophic risks of methamphetamine use, particularly in young MSMs," said Dr. Urbina, especially since adolescents and young adults "tend to be risk-takers." The risk of having unsafe sex, and thus the risk of contracting HIV "is far greater [with methamphetamine use] than with marijuana or alcohol," Dr. Urbina added. "We need to create an environment of awareness that this drug is not one to experiment with."


Founded in 1979, Clinical Infectious Diseases publishes clinical articles twice monthly in a variety of areas of infectious disease, and is one of the most highly regarded journals in this specialty. It is published under the auspices of IDSA. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, IDSA is a professional society representing more than 7,500 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases. The Society’s affiliate organization, the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), is the professional home for more than 2,500 physicians, scientists, and other health professionals dedicated to HIV/AIDS.

Jeff Minerd | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.idsociety.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New method uses just a drop of blood to monitor lung cancer treatment
19.10.2018 | Osaka University

nachricht Photoactive bacteria bait may help in fight against MRSA infections
12.10.2018 | Purdue University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nanocages in the lab and in the computer: how DNA-based dendrimers transport nanoparticles

19.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Thin films from Braunschweig on the way to Mercury

19.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

App-App-Hooray! - Innovative Kits for AR Applications

19.10.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>