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Substance Use and HIV

Education Packet

Substance Use and HIV Educational Packet – This packet is a compilation of several recent fact sheets and other resources focusing on substance use, its consequences, and prevention and treatment measures. You may wish to customize it to meet the needs or interests of particular groups, such as even participants, providers, patients, clients, or the general public. So please feel free to distribute all or part of this packet as either a printout or PDF.

Please note:  Many additional resources related specifically to injection drug use – in particular, focusing on persons who inject drugs – are found on the HIV and People Who Inject Drugs page of the NEAETC Online Resource Library.

Fact Sheets, Guidelines, and Reports 

HIV and Drug and Alcohol Use (AIDSinfo) – This fact sheet examines the connection between HIV and drug and alcohol use; ways that substance use can increase the risk of HIV infection; and the harmful effects that substance use can have on persons with HIV. It is also available in Spanish.

HIV and Substance Use (CDC) – This fact sheet has basic information on HIV risk associated with some commonly used substances, including alcohol, opioids, methamphetamine, cocaine, and inhalants. It also links to resources on a number of related topics, including injection drug use and different modes of HIV transmission. 

Alcohol and Drug Use ( - This fact sheet examines the ways alcohol, drug use, and HIV can affect health, and how to find alcohol and drug treatment or support programs.

Substance Use and HIV Risk ( – This fact sheet in frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) format describes how drug use increases the risk of becoming infected with or transmitting HIV, prevention options for persons who inject drugs, syringe services programs, and ways to stay healthy.

Alcohol Use and HIV Risk ( – This fact sheet in FAQ format describes how alcohol use increases the risk of becoming infected with or transmitting HIV, steps people can take to reduce alcohol consumption and HIV risk, and where to get help.

Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Adults and Adolescents with
HIV: Considerations for Antiretroviral Use in Special Patient Populations – Substance Use Disorders and HIV
(AIDSinfo) – This document includes sections with background information on substance use disorders among people with HIV; substance use and sexual risk taking; screening for substance use disorders; co-occurring mental illness; commonly used substances and their impact on HIV and antiretroviral therapy; and medications for the treatment of substance use disorders.

Drugs, Alcohol, and HIV (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) – This fact sheet provides an overview of the interrelationships of drugs, alcohol, and HIV. It examines how drugs and alcohol affect the immune system, drug interactions between substances and HIV medications, safer sex, and the HIV risks and prevention for persons who inject drugs.

Prevention and Treatment of HIV Among People Living with Substance Use and/or Mental Disorders (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) – This evidence-based resource guide provides an overview of current approaches and challenges to preventing and treating HIV for people with mental illness and/or substance use disorder (SUD). The guide includes five main sections: an issue brief highlighting key concerns; a review of research to date on the effectiveness of programs and strategies to prevent HIV among people with co-occurring mental illness and/or SUD and link them to HIV care; guidance for selecting and implementing evidence-based practices; examples of effective programs and strategies; and resources for evaluation and quality improvement.

Compiled Resources: Substance Use and HIV 

Resources from CDC for Consumers

Resources from CDC for Providers and Public Health Partners

Resources from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Selected Resources from AETCs

National HIV Curriculum: Substance Use Disorders (AIDS Education and Training Center, University of Washington, and other partners, 2020) – This is the seventh lesson in the Curriculum’s Basic HIV Primary Care module. It has detailed information on many topics, including:

  • Background
  • Screening for Substance Use Disorders
  • Epidemiology of Substance Use in United States
  • Impact of Substance Use Disorders on HIV Metrics
  • Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Cannabis Use Disorder
  • Hallucinogen Use Disorder
  • Opioid Use Disorder
  • Stimulant Use Disorder
  • Tobacco Use Disorder


Methadone Patient Journey Demystified (New England AETC – NEAETC 2021)
Video series from New England AETC's Connecticut (CT) Regional Partner that follows a patient's journey into methadone treatment to demystify the process for healthcare providers treating people with substance use disorder(s). It is part of a larger curriculum from the CT Regional Partner.

Pain Management in Individuals with Substance Use Disorders (Mountain West AETC – MWAETC, 2021) – These webinar slides from a webinar focused on pain management in persons with substance use disorders, including chronic and acute pain in patients taking medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), patients with active OUD who are not taking MOUD, and patients with OUD in prolonged remission. 

Primary Care Considerations for Patients Using Methamphetamines (MWAETC and Oregon AETC, 2021) – These presentation slides review the challenges of communicating with people using methamphetamines (meth), highlight the impact of the meth epidemic, discuss successful interventions, and what more can be done. 

Telemedicine and Opioid Use Disorder: Regulatory Changes and Evidence (MWAETC, 2020) – These training slides describe regulatory changes concerning the provision of telemedicine-delivered care for opioid use disorder during the COVID pandemic and review the current evidence base for telemedicine treatment of opioid use disorder. 

Telemedicine and Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Part 2: Clinical Tips (MWAETC, 2021) – These training slides review regulatory changes and evidence for telemedicine delivery of OUD care. 

CT Triple Threat: HIV, Hepatitis C, Opioid Use Disorder Series (New England AETC – NEAETC, 2021) – These recordings of a three-webinar series focus on the scope of HIV, hepatitis C, and opioid use in Connecticut, current treatment options, and efforts to improve access to care and address health inequities. 

Combating Discrimination Based on HIV or Opioid Use Disorder (NEAETC, 2021) – This webinar recording outlines the civil rights of people with HIV, HCV, and substance use disorder, as well as relevant laws and regulations in Massachusetts. 

HIV Epidemiology and Methamphetamine 4-Part Training Series (Pacific AETC and Central Valley Local Partner, 2021) – These video recordings focus on HIV epidemiology and methamphetamine in Sacramento County; the effects of methamphetamine on the brain and the HIV epidemic; challenges of HIV mental health and addiction; and addiction treatment in acute care. 

Outpatient OUD Treatment (Southeast AETC, 2020) – These training slides cover the epidemiology of opioid use and addiction at the national and state levels, with a focus on the impact of COVID-19; key principles of addiction medicine; FDA approved treatment options for opioid use disorder, and related topics. 

Management of Alcohol Use Disorder (National Clinician Consultation Center - NCCC, 2020) – This recording and presentation slides from the NCCC training on the management of alcohol use disorder covers the scope of the problem, treatment options, ambulatory management of alcohol withdrawal, and harm reduction approaches to alcohol use. 

People with Substance Use Disorder: HIV Case Finding and Prevention Pocket Guide (MidAtlantic AETC, 2020) – This pocket guide provides information related to HIV testing and risk assessment for patients who have a history of substance use. 

Stigma and Addiction Training Slides (MWAETC, 2020) – These slides provide an overview of stigma and the effects of stigma, reasons why addiction is stigmatized, and approaches for reducing stigma.


The contents listed on this page are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, the New England AIDS Education and Training Center.