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Marijuana rivals mainstream drugs for HIV/AIDS symptoms
Date:5/29/2009

Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC (May 29, 2009) Those in the United States living with HIV/AIDS are more likely to use marijuana than those in Kenya, South Africa or Puerto Rica to alleviate their symptoms, according to a new study published in Clinical Nursing Research, published by SAGE. Those who did use marijuana rate it as effective as prescribed or over the counter (OTC) medicines for the majority of common symptoms, once again raising the issue that therapeutic marijuana use merits further study and consideration among policy makers.

A significant percentage of those with HIV/AIDS use marijuana as a symptom management approach for anxiety, depression, fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea, and peripheral neuropathy. Members of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) International HIV/AIDS Nursing Research Network examined symptom management and quality of life experiences among those with HIV/AIDS in the US, Africa, and Puerto Rico, to gain a fuller picture of marijuana's effectiveness and use in this population.

With data from a longitudinal, multi-country, multi-site, randomised control clinical trial, the researchers used four different evaluation tools to survey demographics, self-care management strategies for six common symptoms experienced by those living with HIV/AIDS, quality of life instrument and reasons for non-adherence to medications.

Either marijuana use for symptom management is vastly higher in the US, or participants elsewhere chose not to disclose that they use it: nine tenths of study participants who said they used marijuana live in the US. No African participants said they used it, and the remaining ten percent were from Puerto Rico.

The researchers found no differences between marijuana users and nonusers in age, race, and education level, income adequacy, having an AIDS diagnosis, taking ARV medications, or years on ARV medications. But the two groups did diff
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Contact: Mithu Mukherjee
mithu.mukherjee@sagepub.co.uk
44-020-732-42223
SAGE Publications UK
Source:Eurekalert

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