New research is currently being funded by the federal research group the National Institute on Drug Abuse to address the crossover between HIV/AIDS and substance abuse.
The funding will come from the NIDA’s Avante-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS Research program and researchers will each receive $500,000 each year for the next five years.
Many people associate HIV/AIDS with substance abuse, specifically intravenous drug use. Using dirty needles can transfer HIV, as well as a number of other dangerous viruses like hepatitis. But the intertwined nature of the drug abuse epidemic and the HIV epidemic extends beyond just dirty needles. The new research will probe the many areas where these two conditions come together.
The NIDA named five winners. Their projects include:
As you may be able to understand by looking at the diversity of these studies, there is still much to learn about the interaction of HIV and substance abuse. One of the biggest problems with trying to study substance abuse and HIV is that there are many different drugs that people abuse and each drug has a different effect on the body.
An interesting turn of events in drug research is the different ways cannabis has been viewed. The federal government has listed cannabis as a Schedule 1 narcotic, a designation that states the drug has no medical value. For years, the Schedule 1 listing of cannabis has caused people to view it as being on par with drugs like heroin and methamphetamine.
Today, however, medical researchers have found ways to isolate the beneficial compounds in cannabis while leaving behind the THC, the compound that gets you high. This has opened up the door for a whole field of researching cannabis’ potentially beneficial compounds.
While medical researchers may not know everything about how HIV and substance abuse interact, what they do know is that substance abuse makes HIV much worse. If you need help getting off drugs or alcohol, Banyan Treatment Center can provide the treatment you need. Getting clean and sober will improve your health and quality of life, HIV patient or not.