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Cocaine Gives HIV A HIGH(ly) Vulnerable Entry to Immune Cells

University of California (at Los Angeles AIDS Institute) researchers tested CD4 cells from healthy human donors to evaluate the rate of HIV infection alongside the presence of cocaine.  And surprisingly, the white powered is not friendly to HIV-prevention.


Researchers exposed immune cells to the powdery substance– cocaine, and then subsequently infected the cells with HIV.  And here’s the result:  Cocaine made cells more vulnerable to viral entry and new virus production than cells that were not presented with cocaine prior.

“The co-epidemics of illicit drug use and infectious disease are well documented,” stated John Wherry, Ph.D., deputy editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology—where the study was published. He continued by saying that continued education about HIV and drug abstinence was important.

[box style=”lavender, info, shadow” ]MORE INFO:  Kim S, Jung J, and Dixit D. “Cocaine Exposure Enhances Permissiveness of Quiescent T Cells to HIV Infection” 2013 J Leukoc Biol. Oct;94(4):835-843.[/box]

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