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January 19, 1990

Psychoactive Drug Use and AIDS

Author Affiliations

San Bruno, Calif

San Bruno, Calif

JAMA. 1990;263(3):371. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440030054010

To the Editor.—  In their study of drug abuse and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in homosexual men, Kaslow et al1 stated that drug abuse was not associated with low mean T-helper cell counts at enrollment and that psychoactive drugs did not enhance the progression of human immunodeficiency virus infection. Their three categories of users included (1) use in last 2 years, but nonuse for 6 months; (2) use in last 6 months; and (3) use in last 7 days. Their data reveal that within the three categories and considering only marijuana, nitrites, and cocaine, 9.6% to 17.2% of seronegative subjects and 56.2% to 68.8% of seropositive subjects had CD4+ cell counts of less than 0.6×109/L. A greater number of seropositive subjects than seronegative subjects admitted to psychoactive drug use within the last 7 days: 1.6 times as many for marijuana, 1.5 times as many for nitrites, and