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Wasting is common
among HIV-positive drug users

Wasting is common
among HIV-positive drug users

Although antiretroviral therapy has slashed the incidence of wasting among HIV-positive adults, illicit-drug users still remain at a high risk for the condition, reports Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week. A study of 119 HIV-positive drug users in the Miami area showed that 17.6% of the study subjects were experiencing wasting, as defined by a 10% weight loss over six months or weighing less than 90% of ideal body weight.

Although antiretroviral therapy has slashed the incidence of wasting among HIV-positive adults, illicit-drug users still remain at a high risk for the condition, reports Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week. A study of 119 HIV-positive drug users in the Miami area showed that 17.6% of the study subjects were experiencing wasting, as defined by a 10% weight loss over six months or weighing less than 90% of ideal body weight. The researchers found that about 80% of the study subjects experiencing wasting reported going for one day or more without eating during the previous month. Those experiencing wasting also had median HIV viral loads more than twice as high as those not experiencing weight loss, according to the study, which was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

"HIV-related wasting continues to be common among HIV-infected drug users, even among highly active antiretroviral therapy recipients," the researchers write. "Food insecurity and viral load were the only independent predictors of wasting. The social and economic conditions affecting the lifestyle of HIV-infected drug users constitute a challenge for prevention and treatment of wasting." (Advocate.com)

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