A Joint Issue: Cannabis Use In Certain HIV-Positive Patients Leads To Lower Quality Of Life

Shelby Davidson

Written by: Shelby Davidson

Shelby Davidson

With experience covering all things related to the dating world, I have produced content for sites like Elite Daily and The Lala. While a majority of my time is spent as an editorial assistant writing articles and transcribing interviews, you can also find me in the gym, listening to Drake or at a hipster coffee shop.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

Turns out good ol’ Mary Jane might not be as beneficial as we thought for specific medicinal purposes. According to a new study, recent cannabis use in certain HIV-positive patients points to poorer quality of life socially, mentally and economically.

The cross-sectional study, published in the June 1 2015 edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, suggests the recent use of cannabis among middle-aged and older HIV-positive individuals is associated with poor quality of life and mental health, lack of social engagement and unemployment.

Researchers and investigators from the United States were able to study a population of 359 patients, with a median age of 52 years and all taking antiretroviral therapy. Twenty-six percent of the individuals in the study reported recent cannabis use.

Further investigation proved use of the drug is associated with longer duration since HIV diagnosis increased chances of low income and smoking. HIV-positive cannabis users also had lower social functioning and mental health-related quality of life, with greater odds of being under or unemployed.

The Double-Edged Sword That is Cannabis

Cannabis has not always had a negative connotation in its association with HIV patients. While most studies were conducted before or soon after effective HIV therapy hit the market, researchers used to focus on its use as palliative therapy.

Patients would use it to relieve symptoms associated with HIV infection or treatment with antiretroviral drugs.

Prevention and management of diseases and conditions associated with ageing is so important because with the right care, HIV patients can actually have an excellent life expectancy. Unfortunately this study proves that cannabis adversely affects this ageing process.

Researchers of the study said “successful ageing,” what they define as the absence of disease, a high level of physical function, good mental and emotional health and high levels of social engagement, is affected by cannabis use in the HIV positive community.

“Among middle-aged HIV-infected persons on effective ART, the impact of RMU on successful ageing is associated with selected measures of both physical and mental quality of life,” the researchers said.

Furthermore, they emphasized that self-reported marijuana use could be enough to prompt an evaluation of social resources and mental health for older adults with HIV. Factoring marijuana into barriers of successful ageing may help improve the ageing process among other HIV-infected adults.

Although the snap-shot design of the study prevented the researchers from confirming the use of cannabis as a cause or just a symptom of the health problems among middle-aged and older adults with HIV, they believe their findings have implications for the care and examination of these patients.

This study is a call to action, if anything, to evaluate the mental health and social resources of older adults with HIV that admit to using marijuana.

Advertiser Disclosure

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.