HIV is a retrovirus that infects the immune system cells. There are studies that shows that cocaine exposure can make it easier to contract HIV. It is important to abstain from cocaine to prevent being contracted by this disease as soon as possible because addiction is already a brain disease so another disease should not be added onto it.
HIV destroys white blood cells in the immune system called T-cells and makes copies inside the cells. If HIV is not treated, it can take ten to fifteen years for the immune system to be severely damaged that it cannot take care of itself. If a needle or a syringe is not clean, this will increase the risk of HIV for drug users. Doing cocaine can compromise your judgment and decision-making. That leads you to do risky sexual behaviors like sharing needles or prostitution for drugs.
Unfortunately, there are no vaccines to prevent HIV. Cocaine can ruin your immune cell function, replicate the HIV virus, and increase the harmful effects of HIV on different brain cells and your spinal cord, making everything worse. Cocaine can also accelerate NeuroAIDs which bring about neurological conditions linked with HIV infections like memory loss, vision impairment, and movement problems. If you are pregnant, the virus in your blood can pass onto the baby’s blood or through breastfeeding. Cocaine users with HIV can cause an advanced progression of this disease with rapid decreases in CD+4 cell counts.
Having a cocaine addiction as well as HIV can risk being infected with HCV which affects the liver. Many will die of chronic liver disease and cancer. HIV will speed up the HCV infection by accelerating the progression of hepatitis-related liver disease. In a study done with mice, those exposed to cocaine received fewer CD+4 T-cells than those not given cocaine and more cells were infected with HIV. Cocaine has shown to increase the nerve cell death rates in the brain and disrupt the blood-brain barrier, increasing the risk of HIV-related dementia. HIV in cocaine users can also worsen or accelerate the hardening of arteries which increases the risk of stroke or heart attack. All of these health risks are all the more reason why it is important to stay away from cocaine. By going into treatment and by taking antiretroviral treatment to lower the level of HIV in your body, you will have a successful recovery.
Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.