UF Health is conducting a new study on the possible affects that medical marijuana may have on HIV.

University of Florida has received a $3.2 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse this past August to see the drug’s health effects on people with HIV.

Participants are being interviewed and selected and researchers have also visited local clinics to talk to potential participants.

400 Floridians with HIV will be followed for the next five years who use medicinal marijuana or recreational marijuana. It is believed to be the largest study to date on this topic. The study will also be following 100 HIV patients who do not use the drug.

“The main questions we will ask will be: what do patients currently use, do they think it’s helping them and how do they know it’s helping,” explained Dr. Robert Cook, the study’s lead investigator. Cook is also a professor of epidemiology and medicine in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions and the UF College of Medicine.

“In terms of potential consequences, many people do worry about addiction and about driving under the influence,” said Cook. “Stereotypically, people worry about planning and motivation, which will be measured.”

Michelle Wilson, a 42 year old woman who has HIV for the last six years remarked, “I think this study is an amazing thing for the HIV community and for the legalization of marijuana since it helps with nausea and headaches, which can be caused by HIV.”


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