AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 9, pp 2807–2814 | Cite as

A Comparison of Motivations for Marijuana Use in HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Adults

  • Sheri L. ToweEmail author
  • Olivia E. Horton
  • Bianca Martin
  • Christina S. Meade
Original Paper


While medicinal marijuana use is common among persons with HIV, it is not known whether persons with HIV are more motivated to use marijuana medically compared to HIV-negative counterparts. This study examined motivations for marijuana use in a sample of 94 HIV+ and HIV− adults. Participants used marijuana 21.27 days in the last 30 days on average. HIV+ participants reported using marijuana for medical reasons more often than HIV− participants, but HIV+ and HIV− participants did not differ in other domains. Problematic marijuana use was associated with motives, regardless of HIV status. Motives were associated with mental and physical health functioning, but there were no interactions between motivations and HIV status. Overall this study found that motivations were similar for HIV+ and HIV− participants. Future research including qualitative work to further understand motivations would benefit the field, as would research examining the effectiveness of marijuana in treating physical symptoms.


Marijuana Cannabis Marijuana use motives HIV/AIDS Marijuana use disorders 



We thank all the men and women who participated in this study.


This study was funded by grants K23-DA028660, R03-DA035670, and T32-AI007392 from the United States National Institutes of Health. The NIH had no further role in study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation of data, writing the report, or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke University School of MedicineDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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