This brief report calls attention to the relationship between substance use and HIV from a global perspective. The epidemiology of substance use disorders among persons living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) is discussed along with specific caveats in the assessment of these disorders. Important macro-interventions include needle and syringe exchange programs (NSEP) and medication assisted therapy (MAT). Yet, structural interventions such as social welfare, child protection and support services for survivors of violence and abuse are necessary to reduce HIV incidence and enhance engagement in care among those living with HIV. To this extent health systems strengthening is necessary, as is integrating services provided by health and social development departments.
Keywords: HIV; Substance use; global context; structural interventions.