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Meth use now
boosting HIV risks for straight men too

Meth use now
boosting HIV risks for straight men too

Risky sex linked with meth use is a problem for both gay and straight men

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that crystal meth use is not just a problem for gay men anymore. Heterosexual men are more commonly using the drug and putting themselves at risk for HIV by engaging in risky sex while high on meth, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. A study of 1,000 Northern California heterosexual men shows that 6% of the men reported meth use in the previous six months, and that among the meth users 57% had multiple sex partners, compared with 26% of men who did not use meth. Heterosexual meth users also were more likely to report having unprotected sex and to engage in anal sex with female partners than nonusers, both of which put them at increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

The CDC researchers say HIV prevention programs that target meth use among gay men should be expanded or duplicated for heterosexual meth users. They also urge medical providers and support centers to offer referrals to meth treatment and substance abuse programs for heterosexual meth users.

Several studies have linked crystal meth use with risky sex and increased HIV risks among gay men across the United States, particularly in large urban areas. A recent study of San Francisco gay men showed gay and bisexual meth users were three times more likely to be infected with HIV than nonusers. (The Advocate)

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