Special Considerations and Clinical Management of HIV-Infected Drug Users

  • Author: Frederick L. Altice, MD (More Info)
  • Editors in Chief: Daniel R. Kuritzkes, MD; Joseph J. Eron, Jr., MD
  • Last Reviewed: 4/1/16 (What's New)


  • Illicit drugs most closely associated with HIV infection globally are heroin and cocaine, although methamphetamine use is an evolving problem[Mathers 2008; DHHS SAMHSA; Colfax 2010; Degenhardt 2013]
  • Heroin
    • Heroin is a short-acting, semisynthetic opioid that may be smoked, inhaled, or injected
    • Peak heroin euphoria begins shortly after injection and lasts approximately 1 hour, followed by 1-4 hours of sedation; withdrawal symptoms commence several hours later
      Club Drugs
          3,4 Methylenedioxy-Methamphetamine (Ecstasy)
              Gamma Hydroxybutyrate

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