Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cannabis & Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Cannabis & Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): "The human immunodeficiency virus is a retrovirus that invades cells in the human immune system, making it highly susceptible to infectious diseases. According to the World Health Organization, over 500,000 Americans have died from HIV/AIDS and over one million US citizens are living with the disease.

Survey data indicates that cannabis is used by as many one in three North American patients with HIV/AIDS to treat symptoms of the disease as well as the side-effects of various antiretroviral medications.[1-4] One recent study reported that more than 60 percent of HIV/AIDS patients self-identify as "medical cannabis users."[5] Patients living with HIV/AIDS most frequently report using cannabis to counter symptoms of anxiety, appetite loss and nausea, and at least one study has reported that patients who use cannabis therapeutically are 3.3 times more likely to adhere to their antiretroviral therapy regimens than non-cannabis users.[6]

Clinical trial data indicates that cannabis use does not adversely impact CD4 and CD8 T cell counts[7-8] and may even improve immune function.[9-10]"

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