Does opiate addiction make HIV worse? UC professor hopes to find out

In June 2016, a federal analysis warned that a potential HIV outbreak linked to drug injection could hit five counties in the Cincinnati region.

Today, after that prediction became a reality in Hamilton County, a University of Cincinnati researcher is hoping to learn more about the interactions between synthetic opiates and HIV, along with the medications used to treat the virus, in a new study.

Jason Blackard, an associate professor in UC’s Department of Internal Medicine, is leading the new study thanks to a three-year $1.7 million grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. He thinks researchers will have a better understanding of what synthetic opiates are doing to drug users’ bodies.