New research builds case for a biological link between stimulant use and HIV onset.

(Inside Science) — Since the HIV epidemic began in the 1980s, scientists have been exploring the idea that cocaine and other stimulants could increase the chance of infection and assist the progression of HIV into full-blown AIDS.

New research on unusual mice with implanted human immune systems adds weight to previous work, suggesting a link between cocaine and HIV is legitimate.

Earlier studies measured the rate of HIV infection in human cells exposed to cocaine compared to cells not under the influence of the stimulant. Those findings favored the idea that cocaine increases the risk of HIV infection. So have other experiments that gave infected laboratory mice cocaine.

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