October 10, 2012
Researchers at LSU Health Sciences Center have been awarded nearly $3 million in grant money by the National Institutes of Health to help patients who are being treated at the HIV outpatient clinic run by the University Hospital. A study will examine how treatment for alcohol use disorders affects the long-term health of patients. According to Dr. Patricia Molina, head of the Physiology Department and director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center of Excellence, there's a greater chance that medications will not be as effective if an individual is HIV infected and consumes alcohol, and that he/she will lose body mass and develop secondary infections and neurological deficits. Louisiana has one of the highest rates of HIV infection, and alcohol use increases the likelihood of spreading the virus.