Meth Users Three Times as Likely as Nonusers To Be HIV-Positive, Study Says
Crystal methamphetamine users are at least three times as likely as nonusers to be HIV-positive, according to a research letter published in the Sept. 2 issue of the medical journal AIDS, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The study -- which was conducted by researchers from CDC, the University of California-San Francisco and the San Francisco Department of Public Health -- surveyed nearly 3,000 men who have sex with men who tested anonymously for HIV in 2000 and 2001 in San Francisco (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/16). Of the 290 participants who reported using crystal meth, HIV incidence was 6.3% annually. However, HIV incidence among 2,701 respondents who said they had not used the drug was 2.1% (Buchacz et al., AIDS, 9/2). Jeffrey Klausner, director of sexually transmitted disease prevention and control for the Department of Public Health and the study's lead author, said it is crucial to combine drug treatment and prevention programs with efforts to curb the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. James Dilley, director of the UCSF AIDS Health Project, said crystal meth use "is the newest and most important threat to the HIV epidemic in the United States" (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.