New York Times Examines HIV/AIDS Advocates’ Efforts To Reduce Crystal Meth Use Among Black, Latino MSM In New York City
The New York Times on Tuesday examined efforts by advocates in New York City to curb the use of crystal methamphetamine among black and Latino men who have sex with men in an attempt to reduce the spread of HIV. The drug, "like AIDS itself, which was once largely confined to the world of white gay men," is becoming increasingly popular among black and Latino MSM, the Times reports. A recent study involving 19,000 men in Los Angeles found that the rate of new HIV cases among those who used methamphetamine was three times that of nonusers. In a recent New York University study involving 312 crystal meth users, 32% were white, 23% were Latino and 22% were black. At a support group for methamphetamine users run by New York-based Gay Men's Health Crisis, 10% of the participants are black, compared with less than 2% in 2001, according to the Times. Experts say the drug's usage could move from MSM populations to the heterosexual population via MSM who also have sex with women, similar to the path of HIV. To address the situation, the Latino Commission on AIDS, with funding from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, has begun placing Spanish-language public education messages on the Internet, and the organization plans to send volunteers into bars and clubs frequented by Latino men. Other organizations, such as Harlem United, also have launched support groups for black men (Jacobs, New York Times, 2/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.