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HIV and Addiction

An estimated 1,000,000 people in the United States are currently living with a diagnosed HIV infection. In a study of 2864 HIV-positive patients, 51% reported illicit drug use in the last 12 months, a rate nearly 3 times greater than that of the general US adult population. Given the personal and public health consequences associated with concurrent HIV+ serostatus and cocaine use, it is imperative that HIV+ individuals who abuse cocaine achieve and maintain drug abstinence. Our research utilizes task-based neuroimaging methodologies to elucidate the combined effect of substance use and HIV on inhibitory control, a behavioral construct implicated in drug relapse. The outcome of our research will provide insight into the neural-basis of relapse risk in this vulnerable and understudied population.