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Medicine

New study says marijuana may help stop the spread of HIV

Saturday, February 15, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. — A new study by researchers at Louisiana State University finds that THC (a main component of marijuana) given to monkeys over a 17-month clinical trial period decreased damage to immune tissue of the gut — an important site of HIV infection — by acting at the gene level.

MarijuanaThe study was published last week in the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.

“It adds to the picture and it builds a little bit more information around the potential mechanisms that might be playing a role in the modulation of the infection,” says Dr. Patricia Molina, head of LSU’s Department of Physiology and lead author of the study, reported Leaf Science.

Persons suffering with HIV along with several types of cancer and diseases have long treated the side effects of medications to combat those health issues with prescription marijuana. The study instead examines marijuana as part of a possible medical treatment in assisting to slow or stop the spread of HIV.

HIV spreads by infecting and ultimately killing immune cells, however, in 2011, Molina and her colleagues found that monkeys treated with THC had lower levels of viral infection and better survival rates.

The research team observed higher levels of healthy immune cells in animals that received THC and less weight loss from the disease.

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“When we started the study, we thought it was going to increase viral load, we thought it was going to decrease lymphocyte counts much more dramatically, and we did not see that. If anything, it looks like there might be some beneficial immunomodulation, particularly at the early stages of infection,” Molina noted.

Molina says there are those in the medical research community whom are not enthusiastic in an endorsement of the use of marijuana in HIV/AIDS patients, since marijuana compounds are known to inhibit activity of the immune system. But studies have shown that THC does not have a detrimental effect on viral load or immune cells.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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41 more reader comments:

  1. Your headline bears no relation to the study – which is about growth of HIV within an infected person NOT the spread of HIV – what a shockingly rubbish piece of journalism.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:27pm
  2. Did you read it at all? "HIV spreads by infecting and ultimately killing immune cells, however, in 2011, Molina and her colleagues found that monkeys treated with THC had lower levels of viral infection and better survival rates. The research team observed higher levels of healthy immune cells in animals that received THC and less weight loss from the disease"

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:32pm
  3. How lucky is that for the horny boys of Lowell.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:27pm
  4. Too stoned to shag; just wanna eat and sleep. Lol

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:27pm
  5. Why? When people get high they aren’t gonna wanna have sex anymore??

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:28pm
  6. Misleading title is misleading

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:28pm
  7. It's not misleading. Read the article.

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:33pm
  8. Yes, it discusses how THC may inhibit HIV growth within a single person but mentioned nothing about making it any less transmitable

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:36pm
  9. The title doesn't say anything about transmitting HIV.

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:38pm
  10. "May help stop spread of HIV" That is a fairly leading comment. Many of the other replies are evidence of that

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:41pm
  11. That's a sign of poor reading comprehension, not a misleading title.

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:51pm
  12. This is a really misleading headline. The use of marijuana has NOTHING to do with stopping the spread of HIV from one individual to another–as some might take the headline to mean.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:29pm
  13. You’ve got to be kidding!I’m sorry but I can’t believe this!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:29pm
  14. And a toxic chemical drug doing the same thing somehow is believable?

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:35pm
  15. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:41pm
  16. As many uses as marijuana has the detractors are just looking foolish right now..

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:42pm
  17. ...some people also believe in santa claus -.-

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:51pm
  18. Can’t wait for all of the stoners I went to college with to spread this around yet take it out of context, saying pot cures AIDS or something similarly ignorant.

    Pot is fun at parties and the way the US government enforces the War On Drugs has a lot of negative racist/classist implications. But let’s not pretend marijuana is this miraculous infallible panacea that can replace modern medicine. This study should be examined carefully and repeated to ensure consistent results with the presence of other variables. It should not be treated as a be-all-end-all.

    The fact that we’ve gotten this far in research is really promising, though.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:29pm
  19. Cause you’re too stoned to have sex?

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:29pm
  20. Anything to legalize marijuana but just like percocet and vicodin, doctors won’t ever prescribe it.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:29pm
  21. Oh good, now we can just smoke a joint before we bareback.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:29pm
  22. Marijuana can make you loose weight, find the love of your life, find a better paying job, buy a new car a house, have kids be healthy and most of all make you have a sense of humor or put you to sleep. Lol

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:29pm
  23. I didn’t know you could access the gut through the rectum. Whoa how many dick inches does that take?

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:31pm
  24. So if you smoke you don’t have sex?

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:32pm
  25. Whatever… false….very much a lie!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:32pm
  26. Do you think this study never happened, or that LGBTQnation is lying about the study's results? Also, a toxic chemical drug doing the same thing somehow is believable?

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:38pm
  27. LMAO really

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:39pm
  28. And what does this have to do with lgbt-rights?

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:39pm
  29. HIV dear...

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:47pm
  30. Nothing. It just gets attention from sites like this because a lot of LGBTQ+ people have HIV compared to the rest of the population.

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:50pm
  31. Put the drugs down

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:40pm
  32. I’m gay…so yes I think the study is false…very false…MAY is a big Word….I have lost a few loved ones to the horrific disease… I have a right to say how I feel & believe…

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:42pm
  33. wtf

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:43pm
  34. you know what else stops the spread of HIV? Its called being responsible and taking care of yourself, whether you are infected or not.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:44pm
  35. Artemis Eliyah Gyccken…..get off your high horse…& stop criticizing what other’s may believe in this or about this article!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:44pm
  36. That’s a stretch.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:47pm
  37. Last time I checked, HIV has had a very detrimental effect on the community. This page isn’t just about rights, it’s about things that are important to the community. I would say that easing the suffering of ANYONE with HIV is in the best interest of the LGBT community, if not humanity in general.

    The real question is, why on earth would you complain about an article discussing something that may ease peoples suffering in the first place?

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:47pm
  38. this is not a propaganda to legalize marijuana, this just simply said that it MAY help the spread of HIV! it is not yet final!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:49pm
  39. So they fucked up the headline. Doesn’t mean that the research is full of shit. Jeez, there is more horseshit out there in world. Give a person dozens of pills and everything is okay but mention marijuana and everyone loses their minds.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:50pm
  40. What get stoned no see?

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:51pm
  41. Irresponsible propaganda being passed off as “news”

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:52pm