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HIV/AIDS in New York

Studies have recently shown that medicinal cannabis can be used to treat symptoms related to HIV/AIDS.


HIV, also known as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a type of virus that targets the immune system. As the immune system is the core of the body’s ability to fight off disease, the virus can weaken the body, so the individual has difficulty staying healthy. The virus itself and the infection caused as a result of it are both referred to as HIV. The final stage of HIV is AIDS, also referred to as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Individuals with this stage of the virus are susceptible to types of cancer that do not typically affect people who do not have HIV/AIDS. Their CD4+ cells tend to be extremely low, and it is far easier for them to develop infections. AIDS is a deadly disease. If a person has HIV, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have AIDS. When an individual has HIV, even if it is untreated, it takes a considerable amount of time for AIDS to develop, typically between 10 to 12 years. If HIV is diagnosed prior to the development of AIDS, medications can slow down or even halt damage to the immune system. Medications can even restore the immune system to a better state in individuals with AIDS.

Symptoms of  HIV/AIDS

The symptoms of HIV vary from individual to individual and depend on the specific stage of the virus. However, during the first two to four weeks after infection, many people experience flu-like symptoms that are known as primary HIV infection or acute retroviral syndrome (ARS). This stage is the body’s natural reaction to the infection.

Symptoms may include the following:

  • Fever (this is the most common symptom)
  • Swollen glands
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches and pains
  • Headache

Medical Marijuana as Part of an HIV/AIDS Treatment Plan

Despite management with opioids and other pain-modifying therapies, neuropathic pain continues to reduce the quality of life and daily functioning in HIV-infected individuals. Cannabinoid receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems have been shown to modulate pain perception.

Studies also indicate vast benefits in reduction of nausea and increase of appetite in HIV patients. One of the most common problems associated with the disease is cachexia or wasting syndrome. Cannabis therapy has been shown to alleviate these symptoms and shows promise in weight gain through appetite increase and decrease in nausea.

Citiva Medical is also excited to expound on a recent study conducted by Louisiana State researchers and published in the AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, which indicates that THC administered to monkeys over a 17-month period decreased damage to immune tissue of the gut, an important site of HIV infection, by acting at the gene level.

It adds to the picture and it builds a little bit more information on the potential mechanisms that might be playing a role in the modulation of the infection,” said the lead author of the study, Dr. Patricia Molina.

Citiva Medical has witnessed many HIV sufferers benefit from the use of cannabis over the past years. We are excited to bring our years of experience and a new and natural option to help target symptoms of HIV and other immune deficiency sufferers in New York.

Research on HIV/AIDS and Cannabis Based Treatments

For more information on medicinal cannabis being used to treat HIV/AIDS, please click on the following links:

Marijuana Effectiveness as an HIV Self-Care Strategy

THC improves appetite and reverses weight loss in AIDS patients

Marijuana use and its association with adherence to antiretroviral therapy among HIV-infected persons with moderate to severe nausea

Patterns of marijuana use among patients with HIV/AIDS followed in a public healthcare setting

Differential Effects of Medical Marijuana Based on Strain and Route of Administration: A Three-Year Observational Study

A pilot study of the effects of cannabis on appetite hormones in HIV-infected adult men

Smoked medicinal cannabis for neuropathic pain in HIV: a randomized, crossover clinical trial

Cannabis in painful HIV-associated sensory neuropathy: A randomized placebo-controlled trial

To find out more about Citiva Medical, contact us today.