Is There a Connection Between Substance Abuse and HIV?

Substance Abuse and HIV

The HIV/AIDS epidemic and substance abuse go hand-in-hand in many cases. Earlier, it was mainly related to intravenous drug use. However, today it is a factor in widespread substance abuse. The connection between substance abuse and HIV is the fact that the abuse of many substances, including alcohol, increases the chance of high-risk sexual activity.

High-risk sexual activity includes having sex with multiple partners. You might be having sex with various partners, some of which have the HIV/AIDS virus. Some individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol knowingly have sex with other people in exchange for drugs or money to obtain drugs.

How do Individuals Contract HIV/AIDS?

Many myths persist to this day about how you contract HIV. There are only a few ways to transmit HIV.  It can be transferred from one person to another who are sharing needles for injections, commonly injecting illegal substances. HIV can live in a used needle up to 42 days depending on temperature and other factors.

People can also transmit this disease through sexual behaviors. Having unprotected sex is very risky for individuals. Many people who abuse drugs or alcohol are more prone to have unprotected sex when under the influence of these substances. The effects of drugs as well as alcohol can have intoxicating effects, lowering inhibitions as well as judgment.

Other ways HIV/AIDS are contracted include:

  • From mother to child before or during birth or while breastfeeding
  • Infections from blood transfusions or accidents in healthcare
  • Sexual contact through semen, vaginal fluids, or blood
  • Through other materials used in making or injecting drugs

Transmitting HIV is not possible through these bodily fluids:

  • Sweat
  • Saliva
  • Tears
  • Urine
  • Feces

You cannot get HIV/AIDS from any blood-sucking insect. Also, many individuals wonder if you can contract HIV from shaking hands, hugging someone who is HIV positive, or sharing toilets. You cannot contract HIV in any of these manners.

The Connection Between Substance Abuse and HIV

As with most diseases, HIV patients have a strict regimen of taking different medications. If a patient is using alcohol, they will not take their prescribed drugs in the way necessary to prevent full-blown AIDSHIV is a human immunodeficiency virus. Alcohol abuse weakens the body’s immune system. A person whose immune system is already compromised can quickly develop AIDS if not taking their medication as required for their disease.

Another connection between substance abuse and HIV is the impact both of these diseases have on the liver. HIV medications affect liver function. Alcohol adversely affects the liver. HIV or AIDS patients may also suffer from hepatitis C which also affects the liver.

Seek Help for Addiction to any Substance

As you can see, the connection between substance abuse and HIV is real. Misuse of any substance can have a dangerous and fatal outcome. If you are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, don’t continue on your path of destruction.

Seek help from a licensed and reputable inpatient addiction treatment facility such as Awakenings Rehabilitation. There are many benefits to attending inpatient treatment. Contact one of our informed representatives today to learn more about the treatment programs we offer. We can help you design a program that will be successful for your individual needs and preferences. Our representatives can also answer any questions you may have about our facility.

Don’t take a chance with your health by taking part in high-risk behavior because of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Get the treatment that you so deserve to get back to a healthy way of living without using drugs or alcohol. Don’t gamble with your life. Contact us today!


drugabuse.govHow Does Drug Abuse Affect the HIV Epidemic?

hiv.govHow is HIV Transmitted?

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