Modeling the risk of HIV infection for drug abusers

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Angelica Bloomquist

San Diego State University
"Modeling the risk of HIV infection for drug abusers"
In many parts of the world, drugs of abuse, specifically opiates, are one of the leading causes of HIV transmission. Morphine, a metabolite of common opiates, affects the expression of receptors on the surface of target cells (CD4+ T-cell) of HIV leading to a higher risk of acquiring HIV for individuals under drugs of abuse. In this study, we incorporate the difference in T-cell expression into the model to compute the risk of infection for drug abusers. We quantify how morphine conditioning causes a heightened risk of infection, depending on the relative timings of virus exposure and morphine intake. With a better understanding of the viral dynamics and the increased risk of infection for these individuals, we further evaluate how preventive therapies, such as pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis, reduce the risk of infection for drug abusers. These results are helpful for health professionals to better create treatment protocols to overcome the several obstacles that those under drugs of abuse face.

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