Use of technology to address substance use in the context of HIV: A systematic review


Substance users are at elevated risk for HIV. HIV researchers, particularly at the intersection of HIV and substance use, have requested new methods to better understand and address this important area. New technologies, such as social media and mobile applications, are increasingly being used as research tools in studies on HIV and substance use. These technologies have the potential to build on existing recruitment methods, provide new and improved intervention methods, and introduce novel ways of monitoring and predicting new HIV cases. However, little work has been done to review and broadly explore the types of studies being conducted on the use of technologies to address HIV and substance use. This systematic literature review identified studies on this topic between 2005 and 2015. We identified 33 studies on this topic after excluding studies that did not fit inclusion criteria. Studies were either observational (n = 24) or interventional (n = 9), with the majority being pilot studies exploring the feasibility of using these new technologies to study HIV and substance use. We discuss the implications of this work along with limitations and recommendations for future research on this topic.


Young SD, Swendeman D, Holloway IW, Reback CJ, Kao U.




  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • People who use drugs
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention
    • Education/media campaigns
  • Substance Use
    • Nonmedicinal drugs


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