Drug abuse is a common comorbidity in people infected with HIV. HIV-infected individuals who abuse drugs are a key population who frequently experience suboptimal outcomes along the HIV continuum of care. A modest proportion of HIV-infected individuals develop HIV-associated neurocognitive issues, the severity of which further increases with drug abuse. Moreover, the tendency of the virus to go into latency in certain cellular reservoirs again complicates the elimination of HIV and HIV-associated illnesses. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) successfully decreased the overall viral load in infected people, yet it does not effectively eliminate the virus from all latent reservoirs. Although ART increased the life expectancy of infected individuals, it showed inconsistent improvement in CNS functioning, thus decreasing the quality of life. Research efforts have been dedicated to identifying common mechanisms through which HIV and drug abuse lead to neurotoxicity and CNS dysfunction. Therefore, in order to develop an effective treatment regimen to treat neurocognitive and related symptoms in HIV-infected patients, it is crucial to understand the involved mechanisms of neurotoxicity. Eventually, those mechanisms could lead the way to design and develop novel therapeutic strategies addressing both CNS HIV reservoir and illicit drug use by HIV patients.
Sonti, Shilpa; Tyagi, Kratika; Pande, Amit; Daniel, René; Sharma, Adhikarimayum Lakhikumar; and Tyagi, Mudit, "Crossroads of Drug Abuse and HIV Infection: Neurotoxicity and CNS Reservoir" (2022). Center for Translational Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 96.
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