Since the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, there has been a well-established correlation between certain aspects of addiction and the development of HIV and AIDS. There are many facets of HIV that can affect recovery from drugs and alcohol and vice versa. At The Source, we focus on our patients as a whole and are aware of each unique situation. HIV prevention is an essential part of substance abuse treatment, but we go above prevention and are aware of the physical and mental complications that can occur for someone with both HIV/AIDS and a substance use disorder.
Intravenous drug use has long been known as a risk factor for contracting and transmitting HIV. Drug and alcohol use also lowers inhibitions which can lead to unsafe or risky sexual behavior, like unprotected sex. Early intervention is the first step for both preventing the spread of HIV and treating it. Education surrounding HIV in a recovery setting is both about the knowledge of how addiction can lead to exposure and how it can make the infection worse. It is also common for someone who is recently diagnosed with HIV to develop a substance use disorder.