Vitamin A supplementation and human immunodeficiency virus load in injection drug users

Richard D. Semba, Cynthia M. Lyles, Joseph B. Margolick, Waleska T. Caiaffa, Homayoon Farzadegan, Sylvia Cohn, David Vlahov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The use of vitamin A therapy during human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is under clinical investigation, and vitamin A could potentially modulate HIV replication because the virus genome contains a retinoic acid response element. A randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted to determine the impact of single high-dose vitamin A supplementation, 60-mg retinol equivalent (200,000 IU), on HIV lead and CD4 lymphocyte count. HIV-infected injection drug users (120) were randomly allocated to receive vitamin A or placebo. Plasma vitamin A level, CD4 lymphocyte count, and HIV lead were measured at baseline and 2 and 4 weeks after treatment. Vitamin A supplementation had no significant impact on HIV lead or CD4 lymphocyte count at 2 and 4 weeks after treatment. This study suggests that high-dose vitamin A supplementation does not influence HIV lead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-616
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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