UF Health Conducts New Study On Possible Marijuana’s Medical Effects On HIV

UF Health Conducts New Study On Possible Marijuana’s Medical Effects On HIV

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A new study on marijuana’s health effects on people with HIV is launching after the University of Florida received a $3.2 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse in August. Participants are currently being selected and interviewed after UF Health released the announcement of this study in late October. Researchers have recently visited local clinics to talk to possible participants. The study is believed to be the largest study to date on the topic and will follow approximately 400 Floridians with HIV over five years who use marijuana medically or recreationally. The study will also follow approximately 100 HIV patients who do not use marijuana. The study was approved and received funding after two failed proposals previously. This followed the approval of Florida’s Amendment 2 in January, which granted citizens with serious illnesses, including HIV, legal access to medical marijuana. “The main questions we will ask will be: what do patients currently use, do they think it’s helping them and how do they know it’s helping,” said Dr. Robert Cook, the study’s lead investigator and a professor of epidemiology and medicine in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions and the UF College of Medicine. Researchers will track the quantity, cannabinoid content, methods of consumption and frequency of use to identify any patterns in symptom management and in how the virus is expressed in the body. Researchers will not provide participants with marijuana, but rather will monitor current use. About 30 percent of those with HIV surveyed across the state of Florida – which has the highest rate of new infections annually in the U.S. according to the HIV Surveillance report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention – use some form of marijuana. Most claim usage helps manage different symptoms like pain, anxiety, […]

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