Brief Report: Hazardous Cannabis Use and Monocyte Activation among Methamphetamine Users with Treated HIV Infection

Denise C. Vidot, Jennifer A. Manuzak, Nichole R. Klatt, Suresh Pallikkuth, Margie Roach, Samantha E. Dilworth, Savita Pahwa, Adam W. Carrico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background:The use of stimulants, such as methamphetamine, has been associated with greater immune activation in treated HIV infection. However, relatively little is known about whether concomitant cannabis use is associated with lower immune activation among HIV-positive stimulant users.Setting:HIV-positive, sexual minority men with biologically confirmed, recent methamphetamine use were enrolled in San Francisco, CA.Methods:In total, 78 methamphetamine-using sexual minority men with an undetectable HIV viral load (<40 copies/mL) completed self-report measures of cannabis use and substance use disorder severity. Plasma biomarkers of monocyte activation (ie, sCD14 and sCD163) and intestinal barrier integrity (iFABP) were measured. The associations of hazardous cannabis use with these measurements were examined after adjusting for substance use disorder severity, age, antiretroviral therapy regimen, CD4+ T-cell count, and interleukin-6.Results:Hazardous cannabis users had the highest mean sCD14 levels (2181 ng/mL) compared with nonhazardous users (1991 ng/mL) and nonusers (1859 ng/mL; P = 0.05). In adjusted analyses, greater cannabis use severity was associated with higher sCD14 compared with nonusers (unstandardized beta = 133.6 ng/mL, P = 0.03). Cannabis use severity was not significantly associated with sCD163 or iFABP.Conclusions:Hazardous cannabis use is independently associated with elevations in a clinically relevant marker of immune activation in methamphetamine users with treated HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-364
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • cannabis
  • HIV
  • immune activation
  • marijuana
  • methamphetamine

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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