- May 31, 2023
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), as the name implies, is a viral disease that affects the immunity of the body and can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This virus attacks immune cells and can cause them to die. The death of these cells produces severe immunodeficiency in the affected individual, who then becomes susceptible to a number of infections, as well as an increased risk of malignancy and autoimmune diseases. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3892619/)
HIV/AIDS is a grave disease that is transmitted through blood transfusions, sexual contact, intravenous routes, breast feeding from a mother to child, and can also be transmitted during childbirth. It is manifested in the form of a fever, enlarged lymph nodes, weight loss, extreme fatigue, anemia, bruising, diarrhea, vomiting, thrush, pneumonia, shingles, dysphagia, neurological disorders, and depression.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is used to treat HIV infection and, these days, works remarkably well. (https://www.cureus.com/articles/4078-current-scenario-of-hivaids-treatment-options-and-major-challenges-with-compliance-to-antiretroviral-therapy)
Along with standard medical treatment, patients suffering from HIV/AIDS can also use marijuana to alleviate many debilitating symptoms. In fact, it may also help some of the side effects linked with ART therapy itself. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK224400/)Recent studies have found that marijuana use can decrease blood markers associated with inflammation and immune activation. It also reduces morbidity in patients with HIV. (https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/13/8/1521)
Although marijuana will never be a cure for HIV/AIDS, it can help many patients with this condition enjoy a better quality of life.