Current HIV/AIDS Reports

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 17–28 | Cite as

The Association Between Marijuana Use and HIV Continuum of Care Outcomes: a Systematic Review

  • LaTrice MontgomeryEmail author
  • Kara Bagot
  • Jennifer L. Brown
  • Angela M. Haeny
Behavioral Bio-Medical Interface (JL Brown and RJ DiClemente, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Behavioral-Bio-Medical Interface


Purpose of Review

Approximately 77% of HIV-infected adults report lifetime marijuana use. Given the high rates and social acceptability of marijuana use among HIV-infected individuals, it is important to gain a stronger understanding of if, and how, marijuana impacts HIV care cascade outcomes. The purpose of this study is to systematically review recent articles that assess the relationship between marijuana use and HIV continuum of care outcomes.

Recent Findings

One hundred and ninety articles from PubMed were considered for inclusion, and 15 were included in the review. The studies focus on marijuana use among HIV-infected individuals aware of their serostatus (k = 4), individuals engaged in treatment (k = 1), marijuana use in association with adherence to antiretroviral medications (k = 6), and marijuana use in relation to multiple stages of the HIV care cascade (k = 4). Preliminary findings from the small number of studies revealed an association between marijuana use, especially current heavy use, and HIV seropositivity. However, results from studies assessing marijuana use and treatment engagement and adherence to antiretroviral medications were inconsistent and inconclusive.


Additional research is needed to assess the nuanced relationship between marijuana use and HIV continuum of care outcomes, especially among subgroups of HIV-infected individuals, such as men who have sex with men and young adults.


Marijuana HIV/AIDS Continuum of care 



Effort for this project was supported by NIDA K23DA042130 (PI Montgomery) and NIDA R25DA035163 (Co-PIs Masson & Sorensen).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • LaTrice Montgomery
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kara Bagot
    • 2
  • Jennifer L. Brown
    • 1
  • Angela M. Haeny
    • 3
  1. 1.Addiction Sciences Division, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral NeuroscienceUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Prevention and Community ResearchYale School of Medicine, The Consultation CenterNew HavenUSA

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