New Tool Helps Identify Metrics to Assess Substance Use in HIV Settings

Jun 2, 2018

Based on a meta-analysis reviewing substance use measures, a new web-based tool was developed for researchers to find the most reliable, valid and accurate tests for diagnostic purposes. The Substance Use Measure Identification (SUMI) Tool is the latest actualization of scientific research outcomes to be made available to the public. The SUMI is expected to improve the productivity of scientists by producing credible and reliable instruments for substance use research.

Under the direction of the HPTN Substance Use Scientific Committee, developers designed the web-based interactive tool to assist health professionals and researchers in identifying the proper measures and survey instruments to assess substance use in HIV settings.

An estimated 62 million people worldwide exhibited a drug use disorder in 2016, while an estimated 100.4 million individuals had an alcohol use disorder. Substance use is associated with an elevated risk for HIV infection due to various behaviors. Direct pathways include the use of heroin and stimulant drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine, where HIV may be spread through needle sharing. Indirect pathways involve substance-related sexual risk behaviors, including less condom use, condom failure and high numbers of sexual partners.