The Linkage between Amphetamine-Type Stimulants and HIV Sexual Transmission Risk Behaviors (TRBs): A Systematic Review

Systematic Reviews in Pharmacy,2019,10,1s,s7-s12.
Published:August 2019
Type:Review Article

The Linkage between Amphetamine-Type Stimulants and HIV Sexual Transmission Risk Behaviors (TRBs): A Systematic Review

Suhaib Muflih1*, Amin Halum2, Tahir Bhinder2, Mohammad Shawaqfeh3, Jennifer Fore4, Nour Chaar5

1Clinical Pharmacy, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, JORDAN.

2Internal Medicine, The Institute of Investigative and Translational Medicine, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA.

3Pharmacy Practice, King Saud Bin Albdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA.

4Doctor of Pharmacy, Nova Southeastern University, Davie, Florida, USA.

5Registered Behavioral Technician, Behavioral Family Solutions, Miami, Florida, USA.


The epidemic of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and its advanced stage- Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemic, and the illicit drug abuse epidemic are global public health issues that are intertwined on a complex psycho-social, economic, and bio-behavioral level. Based on the Monitoring the Future reports, the danger of substance abuse is significantly underestimated among many adolescents. According to recent surveys, also Americans aged 12 and older abused an illicit drug (e.g., marijuana and ecstasy) at least once during their lifetime, indicating that young adults are becoming more receptive and supportive to the effect of illicit drugs. The lack of prevention programs and inadequate public awareness may increase the risk of chronic illnesses as well as sexual transmitted diseases associated with drug abuse. A review of the literature was conducted to evaluate the link between usage of aAmphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS) and HIV sexual Transmission Risk Behaviors (TRBs). In total, eight articles were found to fit all inclusion and exclusion criteria. In this review, methamphetamine abuse was highly prevalent among populations at risk for HIV infection, which was a cogent evidence to support a potential causal link between usage of ATS and HIV sexual TRBs. However, these articles had some limitations due to ethical regulations, study design, data collection methods, and generalizability of results. Future studies should aim to address these limitations by utilizing larger, more diverse population samples, and novel approaches to data collection. Confounding variables associated with both ATS and TRBs should be further explored.