December 1st marks the 40th observation of World AIDS Day in Australia. The day raises awareness across the world and in the community about the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. It is a day for people to show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.

The theme for this year is “Where to next?” This year World Aids Day aims to encourage Australians to educate themselves and others about HIV; to take action to reduce the transmission of HIV by promoting prevention strategies; and to ensure that people living with HIV can participate fully in the life of the community, free from stigma and discrimination.

In addition to this message, there is also a focus on AIDS and HIV within public health, ensuring that everyone living with HIV has access to HIV treatment. At Little Green Pharma use of medicinal cannabis both in palliative care and in treatment of symptoms have been on our radar as part of our quality of life ethos.

Those living with HIV and AIDS have high levels of chronic systemic inflammation can include complications in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and non-AIDS associated malignancies. This is in addition to pain, mental distress, nausea and weight loss that comes with chronic and progressive symptoms.[1]

In the past illicit cannabis has played an important role in alleviating many symptoms experienced by persons with advanced HIV. Due to developments in the pharmacology and access to cannabis through legitimate medical pathways there is an increase in the historic use of symptom relief and a rise in research. The research while initially focused on weight loss and chronic weakness[2], there has been further development in the use of medicinal cannabis in managing peripheral neuropathy[3].

While these developments are ongoing, there is encouraging results that provide hope for management and relief for those suffering, and World AIDS Day this year highlights this.

If you or a loved one is looking for more information on the use of medicinal cannabis please get in touch via info@littlegreenpharma.com or you can find more information here.

[1] Vidot, D.C., Lerner, B. & Gonzalez, R. Cannabis Use, Medication Management and Adherence Among Persons Living with HIV. AIDS Behav 21, 2005–2013 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-017-1782-x

[2]Badowski M, Perez S. Clinical utility of dronabinol in the treatment of weight loss associated with HIV and AIDS. HIV AIDS (Auckl). 2016;8:37-45
https://doi.org/10.2147/HIV.S81420

[3] P. K. Nicholas DNSc MPH APRN BC, J. K. Kemppainen, G. E. Canaval, I. B. Corless, E. F. Sefcik, K. M. Nokes, C. A. Bain, K. M. Kirksey, L. Sanzero Eller, P. J. Dole, M. J. Hamilton, C. L. Coleman, W. L. Holzemer, N. R. Reynolds, C. J. Portillo, E. H. Bunch, D. J. Wantland, J. Voss, R. Phillips, Y.-F. Tsai, M. Rivero Mendez, T. G. Lindgren, S. M. Davis & D. M. Gallagher (2007) Symptom management and self-care for peripheral neuropathy in HIV/AIDS, AIDS Care, 19:2, 179-189, DOI: 10.1080/09540120600971083

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