The association between marijuana use and HIV continuum of care outcomes: A systematic review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Approximately 77% of HIV-infected adults report lifetime marijuana use. Given the high rates and social acceptability of marijuana use among HIV-infected individuals, it is important to gain a stronger understanding of if, and how, marijuana impacts HIV care cascade outcomes. The purpose of this study is to systematically review recent articles that assess the relationship between marijuana use and HIV continuum of care outcomes. RECENT FINDINGS: One hundred and ninety articles from PubMed were considered for inclusion, and 15 were included in the review. The studies focus on marijuana use among HIV-infected individuals aware of their serostatus (k = 4), individuals engaged in treatment (k = 1), marijuana use in association with adherence to antiretroviral medications (k = 6), and marijuana use in relation to multiple stages of the HIV care cascade (k = 4). Preliminary findings from the small number of studies revealed an association between marijuana use, especially current heavy use, and HIV seropositivity. However, results from studies assessing marijuana use and treatment engagement and adherence to antiretroviral medications were inconsistent and inconclusive. Additional research is needed to assess the nuanced relationship between marijuana use and HIV continuum of care outcomes, especially among subgroups of HIV-infected individuals, such as men who have sex with men and young adults


Montgomery L, Bagot K, Brown JL, Haeny AM




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Linkage/engagement in care
    • Retention in care
    • Treatment
  • Testing
    • Testing
  • Substance Use
    • Nonmedicinal drugs


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