The Group banner image
Home | About RA | The Board | Contact Us

Recreational Drugs and HIV/AIDS

There has long been an association between recreational drugs and AIDS. Surprisingly, some of the strongest associations are not with injection drugs, but with inhalant nitrites, widely marketed to and used by gay men, and with non-injection forms of cocaine, such as ‘crack’. This information is largely ignored by people who accept the infectious theory of AIDS, perhaps because this evidence does not fit that theory.

The quotes are classified as:

IV Drug Abuse

IV drug abuse is certainly associated with AIDS, but it is also associated with a number of health conditions related to a combination of the direct effects of the drugs, substances used to 'cut' the drugs and the living conditions of drug users - poor nutrition and sanitation, often homeless and so forth. Drug addicts have always had serious health problems, often associated with immune suppression, such as Tuberculosis. Can HIV now be blamed for some or all of these problems? (**)

“The study was conducted with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in three locations with high concentrations of IDU [intravenous drug users]: Kiev, Odessa and Makeevka/ Donetsk [in the Ukraine]…891 individuals were recruited…In order to provide a valid assessment of variables associated with HIV status, we omitted from further analyses the 113 participants who were aware that they were HIV positive prior to entering the study [leaving 778]…those who were HIV positive were significantly older and had been injecting longer than those who were HIV negative…Females were more likely to be HIV positive as were those who had been arrested. Having had syphilis, hepatitis B or hepatitis C was associated with HIV infection. Sedative/opiate mixture was the only drug type predictive of HIV. Daily injecting was associated with being HIV positive, as was front/back loading with a dealer. Using a previously used syringe was not associated with HIV infection. With regard to sexual risk behaviors, those who were abstinent were more likely to be HIV positive than those who were sexually active. Those who had an HIV-positive sex partner, however, were twice as likely to be HIV positive themselves as those who did not have an HIV-positive partner or who did not know the status of their partner…we were somewhat surprised to find that using a used needle was not related to HIV status.”
Booth RE et al. Predictors of HIV sero-status among drug injectors at three Ukraine sites. AIDS. 2006 Nov 14;20(17):2217-23.
“The strongest predictor of anaemia was frequency of injecting drugs. Less than half the study population (41%) injected more than 10 times per month, whereas 84% of the people in this group had anaemia”
van der Werf MJ et al. Prevalence, incidence and risk factors of anaemia in HIV-positive and HIV-negative drug users. Addiction. 2000 Mar;95(3):383-92.
“the mean duration of drug use preceding the first registered admission [to this Swiss hospital] was 6.7 years [unconfirmed HIV-negative], 7.1 years [confirmed negative] and 11.3 years [HIV-positive]
Scheidegger C, Zimmerli W. Incidence and spectrum of severe medical complications among hospitalised HIV-seronegative and HIV-seropositive narcotic drug users. AIDS. 1996 Oct;10(12):1407-14.
“More than 15% of the HIV-1-seropositive [IV-drug-using] individuals had plasma vitamin A levels less than 1.05 micromol/L, a level consistent with vitamin A deficiency.”
Semba RD et al. Increased Mortality Associated with Vitamin A Deficiency During HIV 1 Infection. Arch Intern Med. 1993 Sep 27;153:2149-54.
“CD4 cell counts and percentages were obtained from 1,246 HIV-seronegative [IV drug using] subjects…9 had at least one CD4 cell count of <300 cells/microliter or a CD4[:CD8 ratio] <20%...4 subjects had CD4 counts <300 cells/microliter or CD4 < 20% for two points in time, meeting the current surveillance definition for ICL [HIV-free AIDS]...We also examined the data for the 21 subjects who had one CD4 count between 300 and 500 cells/microliter and for whom there was at least one follow-up data collection. None of these subjects progressed to a CD4 cell count of <300 cells/microliter or a CD4<20% at any follow-up visit. Five of these 21 subjects later seroconverted for HIV [indicating that low CD4 cell counts preceded infection, and could not have been caused by HIV]
Des Jarlais DC et al. CD4 lymphocytopenia among injecting drug users in New York City. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 1993;6(7):820-2.
“Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence was studied in an unselected group of 216 female and transsexual prostitutes…All 128 females who did not admit to drug abuse were seronegative; 2 of the 52 females (3.8%) who admitted to intravenous drug abuse were seropositive.”
Modan B et al. Prevalence of HIV antibodies in transsexual and female prostitutes. Am J Public Health. 1992 Apr;82(4):590-2.
“The initial study group consisted of 1,129 addicts (949 men and 180 women) consecutively admitted to the National Institute of Mental Health’s former Clinical Research Center at Lexington, KY, between May 15, 1971, and May 14, 1972…The WB results from the earlier study, which had employed a technique enhanced by the use of an avidin-biotin system, were reanalyzed. The Centers for Disease Control issued diagnostic criteria in 1985 recommending that a WB be considered positive if either band p24 or band gp4l was present alone or in combination with other bands. On rereading, blots with isolated p24 bands were considered to be indeterminate. One 1985 WB, with bands at both the 24 and 55 kilodalton regions, was included among the positives, since the interpretation of this pattern had previously been unclear. The 1971-72 serum specimens were not available for retesting… The two former patients whose 1971-72 WB results were most strongly reactive had current ELISA and WB assays that were negative. Their immune function parameters were inconsistent with immune suppression… The results of the ELISA and WB assays performed on the 1971-72 specimens remain an enigma. Some were interpretable as positive, although only weakly reactive. One explanation is that the results observed in 1985 were true positives, that PDAs in the early 1970s had antibodies to an HIV-like agent that was nonpathogenic, and that the WBs subsequently converted from positive to negative. Loss of HIV antibodies in asymptomatic homosexual men has been reported. It is possible that antibodies to a nonpathogenic virus would have disappeared during the 17 to 18 years between admission to Lexington and the 1989 followup. Although this potential cannot be ruled out, it is more likely that the earlier results were false positives. The reasons for false positivity are unclear, but cross reactivity with related retroviruses may be one possibility. The HIV Western blot assay may cross-react with antibodies to HTLV-I in the p24 and p55 antigen regions, but not the gp4l region. These serum specimens were tested for the presence of HTLV-I/HTLV-II antibodies by other investigators, and a 6.3 percent seropositivity rate for the entire cohort was observed. It is not known if these 10 persons were seropositive for this related retrovirus; however, it is unlikely that this type of cross reactivity accounted for the previous results, given the distribution of the bands and the fact that reactivity was not detected during selected 1989 followup WB screening. The earlier false positivity could be the consequence of either the state of the serum specimens or the test kit or assay employed. It has been suggested that artifactual findings may occur as a consequence of frequent thawing and refreezing of serum aliquots, and that frequent refreezing might affect the physical properties and serologic characteristics of the serum protein moieties. The available evidence would suggest that long-term storage and repeated thawing and refreezing does not affect subsequent testing for serum constituents [the possibility that IVDUs survived for so long and became HIV-negative was due to them stopping injecting drugs was not considered. The one death among the 10 WB positives was due to a traffic accident, and the man had gained considerable weight, possible evidence of a healthier lifestyle]
Lange WR et al. Followup study of possible HIV seropositivity among abusers of parenteral drugs in 1971-72. Public Health Rep. 1991 Jul-Aug;106(4):451-5.
“Intravenous drug abusers appear to be at special risk of acquiring tuberculosis, and a high rate of infection in this group was reported well before AIDS began.”
Goldman KP. AIDS and tuberculosis. BMJ. 1987;295:511-2.
“The best single predictor of seropositivity at the start of the follow-up period was the frequency of drug injection 2 to 5 years prior”
Des Jarlais DC et al. Development of AIDS, HIV seroconversion and potential cofactors for T4 cell loss in a cohort of intravenous drug users. AIDS. 1987;1:105-11.

© Copyright September 3, 2012 by Rethinking AIDS.