Original Article | Open Access
Gregory E Harris, Lise Dupuis, Gerald J Mugford, Lynn Johnston, David Haase, Ginny Page, Heather Haldane, Nicholas Harris, William K Midodzi, Gordon Dow, "Patterns and Correlates of Cannabis Use among Individuals with HIV/AIDS in Maritime Canada", Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, vol. 25, Article ID 301713, 7 pages, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/301713
Patterns and Correlates of Cannabis Use among Individuals with HIV/AIDS in Maritime Canada
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.
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