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Crystal meth may have fueled rise in Florida HIV infections

Crystal meth may have fueled rise in Florida HIV infections

Crystal methamphetamine use, which can lead to high-risk sex, may have played a key role in a recent rise in HIV infections in South Florida, according to a study in the March issue of the journal AIDS and Behavior. Researchers in Coral Gables, Fla., interviewed 15 crystal meth users in Miami Beach and Wilton Manors, Fla., to examine the consequences of crystal meth use among gay and bisexual men, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports. They found that the party drug lowers inhibitions and creates artificial feelings of intimacy, which can lead to risky sexual encounters. The study subjects also reported weekend-long crystal meth-fueled sex parties where unprotected sex with numerous partners was common. "Anecdotally, everyone knows this is going on," Kevin Garrity, executive director of the South Beach AIDS Project, told the Sun-Sentinel. "This gives us the scientific proof of the hypersexuality that crystal meth can cause."

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