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Meth use is
boosting HIV rates in Denver

Meth use is
boosting HIV rates in Denver

City health officials link rising rates of meth use with rising numbers of HIV infections.

Health officials in Denver say rising rates of crystal methamphetamine use by gay and bisexual men in the region is leading to an increase in HIV transmissions, TheDenver Post reports. A recent survey found that 11% of gay and bisexual men in the city reported meth use in the last year, about double the usage rate in the general U.S. population. The study also showed that gay meth users were three times as likely to have had unprotected sex in the previous year than nonusers and that 21% of men who used meth were HIV-positive.

The number of new HIV cases diagnosed each year in Denver increased by over 50% between 2000 and 2004, with 180 new cases confirmed last year. The city health department says meth use by gay men is a significant cause for the rise in infections. Health officials also say increased HIV testing and casual sex between people meeting on the Internet also are fueling the rising HIV rate. (The Advocate)

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