Prevalence and Predictors of Substance Use Disorders Among HIV Care Enrollees in the United States

Bryan Hartzler, Julia C. Dombrowski, Heidi M. Crane, Joseph J. Eron, Elvin H. Geng, W. Christopher Mathews, Kenneth H. Mayer, Richard D. Moore, Michael J. Mugavero, Sonia Napravnik, Benigno Rodriguez, Dennis M. Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Prior efforts to estimate U.S. prevalence of substance use disorders (SUDs) in HIV care have been undermined by caveats common to single-site trials. The current work reports on a cohort of 10,652 HIV-positive adults linked to care at seven sites, with available patient data including geography, demography, and risk factor indices, and with substance-specific SUDs identified via self-report instruments with validated diagnostic thresholds. Generalized estimating equations also tested patient indices as SUD predictors. Findings were: (1) a 48 % SUD prevalence rate (between-site range of 21–71 %), with 20 % of the sample evidencing polysubstance use disorder; (2) substance-specific SUD rates of 31 % for marijuana, 19 % alcohol, 13 % methamphetamine, 11 % cocaine, and 4 % opiate; and (3) emergence of younger age and male gender as robust SUD predictors. Findings suggest high rates at which SUDs occur among patients at these urban HIV care sites, detail substance-specific SUD rates, and identify at-risk patient subgroups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1138-1148
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • HIV care settings
  • Patient demography
  • Substance use disorders
  • United States


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