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SRP. 2019; 10(1): 93-98

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

Suhaib Muflih, Amin Halum, Tahir Bhinder, Mohammad Shawaqfeh, Jennifer Fore, Nour Chaar.


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 amphetamine-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.

Key words: amphetamines, stimulants, HIV, sexual behaviors, Drug abuse.

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