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Cocaine increases risk of HIV infection?

[S]cientists collected blood from healthy human donors and isolated quiescent [inactive] CD4 T cells, and exposed them to cocaine and subsequently infected them with HIV. Following infection, researchers monitored the progression of HIV’s life cycle and compared this progression against that of untreated cells. They found that cocaine rendered this subset of CD4 T cells susceptible to HIV, resulting in significant infection and new virus production.

In other words, cocaine causes immunodeficiency.

“The co-epidemics of elicit drug use and infectious disease are well documented, though typically this connection is thought to occur through lifestyle choices and increased exposure,” said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. “What often does not come to mind is that drugs such as cocaine may be helping to fuel infections in this high-risk population by altering the immune system. [emph. added] These new studies are an important advance documenting how cocaine use may increase a person’s vulnerability to HIV and further highlighting the need for improved education for both HIV prevention and drug abstinence.”

For argument purposes, if we were to say that HIV exists and is pathogenic, it appears to not be within a strong immune system. This is consonant with previous commentary from Luc Montagnier.

[Source: ScienceDaily]

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