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PLWH, SBIRT, screening, substance use, substance use disorders



  1. Savage, Christine L. PhD, RN, CARN, FAAN
  2. Sanchez, Michael DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC, AAHIVS


Purpose: The purpose of this review is to inform nurses on the prevalence of substance use screening with screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment; its use in the primary care setting; and its effectiveness on HIV-related risk behaviors to prevent adverse health consequences among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH).


Review: For PLWH, identification of at-risk substance use is important because of the association between substance use and HIV infection both in terms of acquiring HIV and in further transmission of HIV.


Conclusion: Alcohol and substance use disorders continue to be a burden for PLWH and are associated with poor health outcomes. Implementation of screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment in the primary care setting is critical for promoting positive health outcomes in this population and provides an opportunity for nurses to intervene.