No Evidence for a Role of Alcohol or Other Psychoactive Drugs in Accelerating Immunodeficiency in HIV-1—Positive Individuals: A Report From the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study

Richard A. Kaslow, William C. Blackwelder, David G. Ostrow, Diane Yerg, John Palenicek, Anne H. Coulson, Ronald O. Valdiserri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In a multicenter cohort study of homosexual men, the proportion of seropositives at enrollment who developed the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) during the following 18 months ranged from 5.5% to 8.2% in 1597 alcohol drinkers vs 9.2% in 109 nondrinkers with no clear trend according to use, and from 6.3% to 9.6% for 1662 users vs 7.2% for 83 nonusers of psychoactive drugs prior to enrollment. Among seropositive men with low initial T helper lymphocyte counts, those who continued to use drugs showed no significantly higher 18-month risk of AIDS than nonusers (13% vs 10%); the corresponding risks were 13% and 15%, respectively, for continued heavier vs continued lighter consumption of alcohol. No other manifestations of immunodeficiency were positively associated with substance use prior to enrollment. Prior use was not associated with low mean T helper cell counts at enrollment, and continued drug or alcohol use after enrollment was not associated with greater subsequent decline in counts. As used in a large cohort of homosexual men, psychoactive substances did not enhance the progression of human immunodeficiency virus infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3424-3429
Number of pages6
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Volume261
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 16 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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