Scroll To Top

APLA plans forums
on HIV and crystal meth

APLA plans forums
on HIV and crystal meth

HIV and crystal meth forum series kicks off with event on May 8 in West Hollywood, Calif.

AIDS Project Los Angeles this week announced a series of public forums on crystal meth and HIV, set to begin May 8. Agency officials say a study released last summer by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center of 19,000 men who have sex with men tested at the center for HIV antibodies between 2001 and 2004 showed a near doubling--from 5.8% to 10.3%--of reported crystal meth use. Among gay and bisexual men who tested HIV-positive, crystal use had nearly tripled--from 11.7% to 30.2%--in the same time period. Among users, 86.6% reported using the drug during sex.

"It is clear that what was once perceived as a West Coast phenomenon is now a national emergency," said Craig E. Thompson, APLA executive director, in a press statement. "This forum will a take a clear-eyed look at the connections and freedoms men may be seeking by using the crystal meth, along with its downsides--crashing, depression, and long-term effects among them."

APLA's series of community forums is part of a comprehensive crystal meth program begun in 2005 that offers educational sessions for crystal users as well as their friends, families, and sex partners. Using a harm reduction model, the sessions for users provide information about health resources and how to access them. The sessions for concerned friends teach how to identify a crystal problem and provide strategies for coping with it.

"There has been little discussion around why people choose to do the drug and what trade-off they make emotionally or physically for their choices," said Phil Hendricks, who coordinates APLA's crystal meth program. "We will look at the void the drug may be filling for too many men and the cost it exacts on their lives."

The series will kick off on May 8 with an event titled "Crystal: The Good, the Sad, and the Ugly." Speakers at the first forum include writer and activist Tony Valenzuela; Peter S. Theodore, Ph.D., of the Friends Research Institute; and APLA addictions specialist Lydia Szamraj. The event will be held 7-9 p.m. at the West Hollywood Park Auditorium, 647 N. San Vicente Ave., in West Hollywood, Calif. For more information call (213) 201-1662. (The Advocate)

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff