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Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol. 2014 Spring;25(1):e1-7.

Patterns and correlates of cannabis use among individuals with HIV/AIDS in Maritime Canada.

Author information

1
Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador;
2
Horizon Health Network, Moncton, New Brunswick;
3
The Health Sciences Centre, Faculty of Medicine (Medicine and Psychiatry), St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador;
4
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Capital District Health Authority;
5
Capital District Health Authority and Dalhousie University;
6
QEII Health Sciences Centre, Victoria General Hospital Site;
7
Department of Infectious Diseases, Center for Clinical Research, Halifax, Nova Scotia;
8
Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario;
9
Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University, St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador;
10
Dalhousie University, The Moncton Hospital, Moncton, New Brunswick.

Abstract

in English, French

BACKGROUND:

The prevalence of cannabis use in HIV-infected individuals is high and its long-term effects are unclear.

METHODS:

The prevalence, perceived benefits and consequences, and predictors of cannabis use were studied using a cross-sectional survey in two immunodeficiency clinics in Maritime Canada.

RESULTS:

Current cannabis use was identified in 38.5% (87 of 226) of participants. Almost all cannabis users (85 of 87 [97.7%]) acknowledged its use for recreational purposes, with 21.8% (19 of 87) reporting medicinal cannabis use. The majority of patients enrolled in the present study reported mild or no symptoms related to HIV (n=179). Overall, 80.5% (70 of 87) of the cannabis-using participants reported a symptom-relieving benefit, mostly for relief of stress, anorexia or pain. Participants consumed a mean (± SD) of 18.3±21.1 g of cannabis per month and spent an average of $105.15±109.87 on cannabis per month. Cannabis use was associated with rural residence, lower income level, driving under the influence of a substance, and consumption of ecstasy and tobacco. Income level, ecstasy use and tobacco use were retained as significant predictors in regression modelling. Cannabis use was not associated with adverse psychological outcomes.

DISCUSSION:

Prolonged previous cannabis consumption and the substantial overlap between recreational and medicinal cannabis use highlight the challenges in obtaining a tenable definition of medicinal cannabis therapy.

KEYWORDS:

Cannabis; HIV/AIDS; High-risk behaviour

PMID:
24634690
PMCID:
PMC3950986
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