We examined the relationships between drug abuse, weight, body composition, and dietary intake in persons infected with HIV in a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a longitudinal study of nutritional status and HIV. Body composition was measured by bioelectrical impedance analysis. Dietary data were collected by 3-day food records or 24-hour recalls. We analyzed data from 39 current intravenous drug users (IVDU), 103 past intravenous drug users (past-IVDU), 239 users of nonintravenous drugs (users-NIVD), and 61 nonusers (reference category). In the men, there were no differences in weight, body mass index (BMI), or body composition among the drug-use groups. In the women, there was a trend to lower weight and BMI across the drug use categories: IVDU women had lower average weight (-13.7 kg; p = .006), BMI (-5.6 units; p = .003) and less fat mass than non-users (-9.8 kg; p = .0001). In women, drug users had higher weight-adjusted energy intakes than nonusers, whereas in the men both drug using groups, NIVD and IVDU, had higher energy intakes than nonusers. These data suggest that intravenous drug-abuse is associated with lower weight and fat mass in women with HIV infection despite adequate self-reported energy intake.