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Psychoactive Drug Use and AIDS

Don C. Des Jarlais, PhD; Samuel R. Friedman, PhD
JAMA. 1990;263(3):372. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440030054012.
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To the Editor.—  Kaslow and colleagues1 recently reported the lack of any effect of psychoactive drug use on development of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease or CD4 cell loss among homosexual men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. In their discussion, they misstated the results of our study of potential cofactors for CD4 cell loss among intravenous drug users.2 We did not report "intravenous drug users who ceased or diminished their use of drugs were less likely to show evidence of progressive HIV type 1 infection than those who continued their drug use," as stated by Kaslow and colleagues.1 We looked at CD4 cell loss as a function of drug injection frequency during followup. We found a loss of CD4 cells primarily "at the higher levels of drug injection (greater than 45 injections per month)," and noted that "at low to moderate levels of drug injection


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