Medications for Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder among Persons Living with HIV

  • Laura FanucchiEmail author
  • Sandra A. Springer
  • P. Todd Korthuis
Behavioral Bio-Medical Interface (JL Brown and RJ DiClemente, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Behavioral-Bio-Medical Interface
  2. Topical Collection on Behavioral-Bio-Medical Interface


Purpose of Review

Recent HIV outbreaks have occurred as a result of the current US opioid epidemic. Providing medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) with methadone, buprenorphine, and extended-release naltrexone is essential to achieving optimal HIV treatment outcomes including viral suppression and retention in treatment. This review describes the pharmacology of MOUD with specific attention to interactions with antiretroviral therapy, and to the effect of MOUD on HIV treatment outcomes.

Recent Findings

Methadone and buprenorphine both improve HIV viral suppression, adherence to antiretroviral therapy, and overall mortality for persons with opioid use disorder (OUD). Extended-release naltrexone has been most extensively studied in persons with HIV leaving incarcerated settings, and improves HIV viral suppression in that context.


Strategies that integrate MOUD and HIV treatment are crucial to optimize viral suppression. The differing pharmacokinetic and delivery characteristics of these MOUD offer diverse options. Given the chronic and relapsing nature of both HIV and OUD, long-term approaches are required.


Extended-release naltrexone Methadone Buprenorphine HIV Opioid use disorders MAT Medication for opioid use disorder Opioid addiction 



US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse (Korthuis: UG1DA015815, UG3DA044831, R01DA037441; Springer: K02DA032322).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Korthuis serves as principal investigator for NIH-funded clinical trials that receive donated study medication from Alkermes (extended-release naltrexone) and Inidivior (buprenorphine/naloxone). Dr. Fanucchi has nothing to disclose.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Fanucchi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sandra A. Springer
    • 3
    • 4
  • P. Todd Korthuis
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Infectious DiseaseUniversity of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Center on Drug and Alcohol ResearchUniversity of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Infectious DiseaseYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDSYale University School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA
  5. 5.Section of Addiction MedicineOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA

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