NEW ORLEANS -- Nearly $3 million in grant money will be coming to New Orleans to help people with HIV and AIDS.

Researchers at LSU Health Sciences Center were awarded the research funds by the NIH to help patients who are treated at the HIV out-patient clinic run by University Hospital.

The free study will look at how treatment for alcohol use disorders will affect the long-term health of patients.

'If you are HIV infected and you consume alcohol, there's a greater chance that the medication that you are taking will not be as effective. There's a greater chance that you are going to lose body weight, that you are going to lose body mass and you need that body mass in order to be able to survive the infection. There will be a greater chance that you are going to develop secondary infections that are going to complicate the care of your treatment. There's a greater likelihood that you're going to develop neurological deficits,' explained Dr. Patricia Molina, who is the head of the Physiology Department and director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center of Excellence.

Louisiana has one of the highest rates of HIV infection. Alcohol use also increases the likelihood of spreading the virus.

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