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cocaine, pot use with aids
Feb 4, 2005

I HAVE A FAMILY MEMBER WITH AIDS, HE USES COCAINE AND SMOKES POT. I'M CONCERNED BUT NOBODY ELSE IS. SHOULD I BE? CAN YOU GIVE ME AN ANSWER TO CONVINCE THEM. PLEASE HELP!

SCARED IN PA

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I'd be much more concerned about cocaine use than marijuana. Cocaine can increase HIV replication by 200 times! It may also increase the number of receptors (CCR5 and CXCR4) on CD4 cells that HIV uses to infect these cells. Cocaine is also highly addictive and illegal. It can also lead to sleep disorders, a poor diet and psychological problems. Marijuana, on the other hand, appears to be much less of a problem. The "active ingredient" is THC. This compound is now available as an FDA-approved medication called Marinol, which is used to stimulate appetite ("the munchies").

I would suggest you encourage your family member to discuss his recreational drug use with his HIV specialist.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob


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