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ABOUT US is a not-for-profit resource for the community, connecting people to addiction treatment and education resources. You can find information on addiction and treatment as well as detailed information on treatment centers nationwide. Our main goal is to provide a comprehensive resource for individuals who are seeking treatment regardless of their situation.

HIV/AIDS Addiction Treatment

Substance use disorders are often accompanied by other co-occurring medical and mental health disorders. If you are HIV/AIDS positive and you are also struggling with addiction, you might want to seek out HIV/AIDS addiction treatment. This will provide you with the opportunity to manage both your substance abuse as well as the medical condition.

Often, drug taking and alcohol abuse can facility risky behavior that could potentially make you more susceptible to contracting diseases like HIV/AIDS. Through addiction treatment that is focused on patients who have this condition, however, you will be able to work with professional recovery counselors. These experts understand your unique needs and preferences and can tailor your treatment to meet these needs.

Brief Definition

HIV/AIDS addiction treatment refers to a drug and alcohol rehab program that is focused on providing help with substance abuse as well as ongoing counseling and medical care to manage HIV/AIDS.

It is often considered to be a type of dual diagnosis treatment. This is because you would typically be diagnosed with a substance use disorder as well as other co-occurring medical and mental health disorders. In particular, most people who are HIV positive and addicted to drugs or alcohol often struggle with co-occurring conditions like hepatitis, tuberculosis, and many other disorders.

Research studies have also been showing that substance abuse and HIV are closely linked. This has been happening since the epidemic was discovered in the early 1970s. The studies also report that there are several aspects of drug and alcohol addiction that play major roles in the development of this condition.

If you are an active addict, for instance, your risk of contracting HIV/AIDS would typically be heightened. Ongoing substance abuse, on the other hand, would also worsen all the symptoms of your infection if it was already existing before you became involved with drugs and alcohol.

To contract this condition, you need to be in contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is infected. This could be through direct injection of their blood into your blood stream or even as a result of coming into contact with damaged tissue.

However, the most common way through which you can contract HIV/AIDS is through risky or unsafe sexual behavior. If you are under the influence of addictive substances, your risk of engaging in such behavior would typically be heightened. For instance, you could end up having unprotected sex with a partner who may potentially be carrying this virus.

Even so, there is a risk that you could contract HIV/AIDS if you share needles with people who may be infected. This is typically common among intravenous drug users who take substances like meth and heroin.

Irrespective of how you contracted HIV/AIDS, however, it is important that you seek treatment services that can help you manage this condition even as you continue overcoming your substance abuse and addiction.

Who Is HIV/AIDS Addiction Treatment Best For?

As the name suggests, HIV/AIDS addiction treatment is best suited for you if you have a drug addiction condition and you are as struggling with HIV/AIDS. In this situation, you need to get specialized rehabilitation services that will manage both of these conditions simultaneously.

While enrolled in such a rehab program, you will get the opportunity to work with addiction counselors and therapists who have the training and experience required to help their patients cope with their positive diagnosis. You will also be able to benefit from the compassion and knowledge that these therapists can provide so that you can achieve recovery while coming to terms with the fact that you will have HIV/AIDS for the rest of your life.

If you are already infected with HIV, you need to understand that continued substance abuse and addiction could make the disease progress faster. Instead of letting this happen, it is recommended that you go for HIV/AIDS drug rehab services. This way, you will be able to get back on the path to full recovery from your addiction while also learning how to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

After curbing your addictive habits, you will also be able to take part in medication management for your HIV/AIDS condition. In the long run, addiction treatment can ensure that you do not continue harming your immune system. It will also provide you with a fresh start to decrease the progression of HIV while learning how to live a fun, healthy, productive, and full lifestyle.

How Long Is HIV/AIDS Addiction Treatment?

HIV/AIDS addiction treatment is like many other types of drug and alcohol rehab in the sense that you should continue participating in it for as long as it takes you to manage your substance abuse and addiction.

According to SAMHSA - the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - spending at least 90 days in such an addiction recovery program could increase your ability to recover fully.

However, there are many instances where you may be able to benefit from a longer term stay in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. This is particularly true if you have:

  • A longstanding substance use disorder
  • A severe addiction
  • Co-occurring mental health disorders over and above your addiction
  • Issues in your personal and professional life that you have to address in the course of your recovery

That said, the fact that HIV/AIDS is a life-long condition effectively means that you should not stop treatment even after you have duly managed your addiction and brought it under control.

Instead, you need to continue taking medications and going for regular therapy and counseling sessions to ensure that HIV/AIDS does not overwhelm you, that your positive diagnosis does not affect your life, or that you do not start abusing drugs again as a way to self-medicate the anxiety and stress that arises from your positive diagnosis.

Average Cost of HIV/AIDS Addiction Treatment

In the same way that the duration of addiction treatment will vary based on many different factors, there are several things that could affect how much you would be required to pay while enrolled in a drug rehab program that focuses on HIV/AIDS positive patients. These factors include:

  • The duration of the addiction treatment
  • The existence of other co-occurring disorders
  • The funding policies available at the addiction treatment program you choose
  • The location of the program
  • The severity, duration, and extent of your addiction
  • -The type of facility you choose, such as a luxury or a standard drug rehab
  • The type of the drug rehab program, such as whether it is inpatient, outpatient, or both
  • Your ability to pay for some, most, or all of your drug rehab services through an insurance plan

That said, you can typically expect to pay more for HIV/AIDS addiction treatment than if you chose another standard drug rehab program that does not manage this medical condition. This is due to the additional medical and therapeutic services that you are going to receive to deal with both your addiction and the HIV/AIDS diagnosis.

How Do I Go About Finding HIV/AIDS Addiction Treatment?

There are many different factors that will affect the success of your HIV/AIDS addiction treatment. These factors include but are not always limited to:

  • Any potential or actual drug interactions
  • Co-infections that you may also be struggling with, such as hepatitis B and C and TB (tuberculosis)
  • Financial and social barriers to addiction treatment, including social stigma, lack of insurance cover, and homelessness
  • The diagnosis of another co-occurring mental health disorder like depression and anxiety
  • The medications that you have been taking and need to continue using

If you are HIV-positive and looking for addiction treatment, it is recommended that you choose a program that offers comprehensive medical care for your HIV symptoms and other co-infections while also providing effective evidence based therapy and psychological care.

You should also continue with your ART regimen all through the addiction treatment process - including but not limited to the initial medically managed detox process. This effectively means that it is important that you find a drug rehab program that understands and can manage all the complexities that arise during the treatment of both substance abuse and addiction as well as HIV/AIDS. This way, you could potentially be able to significantly improve your ability to quit alcohol and drugs while also continuing to manage your HIV/AIDS symptoms.


Research studies show that continued substance abuse and addiction can increase your risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. It can also reduce the effectiveness of your HIV/AIDS management treatment.

Today, there are several addiction treatment options for substance abuse. Most of them can be provided alongside the ART - antiretroviral therapies - that you need to take to manage HIV/AIDS.

Although it might be difficult and painful for you to terminate your substance abuse and addiction, this is an important step that you need to take - whether or not you have received a positive diagnosis for HIV.

In the long term, HIV/AIDS addiction treatment would be the ideal way to ensure that you can overcome your substance use disorder, manage other co-occurring mental health disorders and co-infections, while also continuing with your ART regimen.


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