Conference will examine links between crystal meth, HIV, and hepatitis
Salt Lake City's Harm Reduction Project is cosponsoring a conference this summer that organizers say is the first national gathering to examine the links between crystal methamphetamine use and the spread of HIV and hepatitis, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Social workers and law enforcement officials from around the country, as well as scientists from Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and Yale, are scheduled to attend the August 19-20 conference. Organizers say sessions will focus on data showing the links between crystal meth use and sexually transmitted diseases, how to prevent methamphetamine abuse, and forming harm-reduction strategies for those who use the drug. Such strategies are especially important for gay men, who may be engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners while high on the drug. "It's becoming more dispersed in many communities; making inroads as a party drug, a widespread drug in gay, Native American, and white rural communities throughout the West and Midwest," Robert Heimer, a Yale professor of epidemiology, public health, and pharmacology, told the Tribune. "We really don't know all those emerging drug trends."