Does living with HIV/AIDS increase the risk of substance use?


Key take-home messages
  • HIV-positive individuals are already at increased risk for experiencing stressful and traumatic events, including AIDS-related losses and grief, which increase their risk of substance use and abuse.
  • None of the research studies reviewed analyzed the risk of substance use among people with HIV (post diagnosis) who do not have histories or dual diagnosis of substance use/abuse.
  • The articles under review widely considered substance use as a pre-existing problem or diagnosis among people living with HIV.
  • This review identified the clear need for research on this question, with particular focus on the risk of substance use among urban (newly diagnosed) HIV positive youth.


The Ontario HIV Treatment Network: Rapid Response Service




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Substance Use
    • Alcohol
    • Nonmedicinal drugs
    • Tobacco


Abstract/Full paper

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