San Francisco To Combat Crystal Meth Use Among Gay Men in Effort To Fight HIV/AIDS
San Francisco public health officials on Tuesday announced that they will give $425,000 to area groups to fight crystal methamphetamine use among gay men as part of an effort to prevent the spread of HIV, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Heredia, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/22). San Francisco officials in May held public hearings to discuss the growing crystal methamphetamine problem that has led to high-risk behavior among men who have sex with men, which some officials say could lead to increased HIV incidence. MSM in California who use the crystal meth are twice as likely as MSM who do not use the drug to be HIV-positive and are also less likely to use condoms, putting them at a higher risk of HIV infection or infection with another sexually transmitted disease (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/9). Officials have allocated $250,000 for programs targeting gay, bisexual and transgender men and women and $100,000 for the Stonewall Project, which provides counseling services to MSM who are addicted to speed, the Chronicle reports. In addition, $75,000 will go to New Leaf Services for Our Community, a counseling center focused on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Steven Tierney, director of HIV prevention for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said that the grants are an "important first step." San Francisco supervisor Bevan Dufty said that he hopes the funds may reduce wait lists for community substance abuse programs, according to the Chronicle (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.