Volume 9, Issue 2

April – July 2022

Check out the current issue of URBAN ARCH News, the quarterly newsletter bringing you news on the latest URBAN ARCH and related research.

Reflections from the 2022 URBAN ARCH Annual Meeting

In this edition of the URBAN ARCH Newsletter we recap the May 2022 URBAN ARCH Annual Meeting, which focused on key findings from the past 10 years of the URBAN ARCH Consortium.

Updates from 2nd Generation URBAN ARCH HIV/Alcohol P01s


On The Ground

Click on the buttons below to see what the International URBAN ARCH Center Cores and Projects have been working on.

Spotlight on… Jeffrey Samet

In this issue, we interview Jeffrey H. Samet, MD, MA, MPH, the Principal Investigator of the URBAN ARCH Consortium and the new International URBAN ARCH Center, and Professor of Medicine and Public Heath at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. 



Article Spotlight

Non-medical Opioid Use Associated with Increased Systemic Inflammation and Immune Activation Among People Living with HIV

In people living with HIV (PLWH), chronic immune activation and systemic inflammation have been associated with the development of AIDS and other adverse health outcomes. HIV-related factors can lead to immune activation and inflammation due to bacterial translocation from the gut, which is also impacted by opioid use. Russia ARCH researchers recently examined the association between non-medical opioid use and plasma soluble CD14 (sCD14), a biomarker that indicates the presence of a component of the bacteria cell wall used as a proxy for assessing immune activation and bacterial translocation. They also assessed levels of inflammation (interleukin-6 [IL-6]) and altered coagulation (D-dimer), biomarkers used to understand the link between non-medical opioid use and chronic systemic inflammation. Study participants were 351 PLWH who had not yet received antiretroviral therapy and who had current opioid use, prior opioid use, or never opioid use.

  • In adjusted analyses, compared with participants who never had opioid use, sCD14 levels were significantly higher among participants with current opioid use (adjusted mean differences, 197.8 ng/ml).
  • IL-6 levels were also higher for participants with current versus never opioid use (adjusted ratios of means [ARM], 2.10).
  • D-dimer levels were higher for current (ARM, 1.95) and prior opioid use (ARM, 1.57), compared with never opioid use.

Comments: In this cohort of PLWH, current non-medical opioid use was associated with increased levels of biomarkers for immune activation and systemic inflammation. These findings have important implications for the care of PLWH who have non-medical opioid use; future research should explore the impact of medications for opioid use disorder on immune activation and systemic inflammation.

Reference: Kholodnaia A, So-Armah K, Cheng D, Gnatienko N, Patts G, Samet JH, Freiberg M, Lioznov D. Impact of illicit opioid use on markers of monocyte activation and systemic inflammation in people living with HIV. PLoS One. 2022 May 5;17(5):e0265504. PMCID: PMC9070930

New Workshop

New URBAN ARCH Publications

Events and Conferences

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