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Psychoactive Drug Use and AIDS-Reply

Richard A. Kaslow, MD, MPH; William C. Blackwelder, PhD; David G. Ostrow, MD, PhD; Diane Yerg, MSPH; John Palenicek, PA-C; Anne H. Coulson; Ronald O. Valdiserri, MD, MPH
JAMA. 1990;263(3):373. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440030054014.
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In Reply.—  Our study addressed the hypothesis that psychoactive substances, including alcohol, as they were used by homosexual men before and just after their enrollment in the Multi-center AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) in 1984 through 1985, did not enhance HIV-induced immunodeficiency. We offer the following response to comments on our findings.First, both Drs Drexler and Brown and Dr Badgley emphasize the absence of data on the role of these substances in promoting seroconversion. We intentionally excluded the analysis of the effects of these psychoactive substances on initiation of infection. Early reports from the MACS1,2 and other reports have recognized potentially important relationships between use of these substances and the prevalence of HIV infection. A more complete analysis of MACS data on these relationships is in preparation. Assessment of such influences on new acquisition of HIV infection or antibody will be more difficult because of the relatively small numbers


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