A new study to be published in the August edition of the journal of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine finds that meth use among young gay men, increases their risk of contracting HIV. This is one of the first studies to look at the use of drugs and sex in young gay men. Most previous studies tended to look at older populations.
Northwestern University in Chicago researcher Peter Freeman, examined data collected from January 2005 to August 2006. The study focused on 595 gay/bisexual men between the ages of 12 to 24; 64 of these men had reported ‘crystal’ use sometime in the previous 90 days. The study concluded:
Compared to those who had not used hard drugs, the participants who said they used methamphetamine were more likely to have a history of sexually transmitted diseases (about 52 percent vs. 21 percent), two or more sex partners in the past 90 days (about 86 percent vs. 63 percent), sex with an injection drug user (51.5 percent vs. about 11 percent), and sex with someone infected with HIV (about 33 percent vs. 11 percent).
Methamphetamine users were also less likely to use condoms during every sexual encounter: 33 percent vs. 54 percent.