Prevalence and potential predictors of gambling disorder among people living with HIV

Kristen Langan, Megan Wall, Wendy Potts, Seth Himelhoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Specific subsets of the adult population are at an increased risk of problem gambling behaviors. Previous research among these subsets has found increased rates of disordered gambling among those with drug use, alcohol use, mood, anxiety, and personality disorders. To what extent this may apply to the HIV population, known to have a high burden of co-occurring substance use and mental disorders, is not known The current study also examined the effectiveness of The Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen (BBGS) for the diagnosis of gambling disorder. This study examined the prevalence of gambling behaviors and disordered gambling in patients enrolled in an urban HIV clinic. 100 people living with HIV (PLWH) were assessed on gambling behaviors, impulsivity, and criterion on disordered gambling. Screening for gambling disorder using the BBGS was compared to the American Psychiatric Association DSM-5 criterion. The mean age was 53, 44% were female, 60% completed high school or above, and 80% self-identified as unemployed/disabled. 13% met four or more criteria for gambling disorder according to DSM-5 criteria. Participants that met criteria were more likely to report marijuana (p =.044) and heroin (p =.002) use, and greater impulsivity (p < 0.00001) when compared to participants who did not meet criteria. The BBGS was able to effectively screen individuals for disordered gambling with a sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 90.8%, positive predictive value of 56.2%, and a negative predictive value of 100%. These results suggest that urban HIV clinics may need to consider actively screening for gambling disorders, and referring to appropriate counseling and treatment for those who screen positive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-426
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Gambling disorder
  • HIV
  • brief biosocial gambling screen
  • diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders version 5
  • gambling behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence and potential predictors of gambling disorder among people living with HIV'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this