HIV sex risk behaviors among heterosexual methamphetamine users: literature review from 2000 to present

Curr Drug Abuse Rev. 2008 Nov;1(3):292-6. doi: 10.2174/1874473710801030292.


Methamphetamine (MA) use is a burgeoning problem worldwide and throughout the United States. Researchers have begun to examine risk behaviors among subgroups of MA users in an attempt to discover strategies to assist MA users in reducing their drug use and preventing transmission of diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C. Sex risk behaviors have been traditionally difficult to examine and to change through intervention. This is important in light of the fact that MA users report a higher sex drive while on MA. This brief literature review examines recent studies of interest looking at heterosexual risk among MA users in the United States. Over 150 articles were examined from a Medline search, however those that concentrated on men who have sex with men (MSM) and HIV sex risk were eliminated from the review. The findings suggest a dearth of research studies that examine heterosexual sex risk among MA users. This is compelling given the growing problem of MA use nationwide and given the effect that MA has on sex behavior and subsequently HIV risk. This comprises one of the few existing literature reviews focusing solely on sex risk behaviors within in this population, which is vital for moving the field forward and developing successful interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants* / toxicity
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Euphoria / drug effects
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / prevention & control
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / psychology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / transmission
  • Heterosexuality / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methamphetamine* / toxicity
  • Sexual Behavior / drug effects
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / epidemiology
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / psychology*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology
  • United States
  • Unsafe Sex*
  • Young Adult


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methamphetamine