City University in London report in the online edition of
the journal Addiction that about 10% of gay men
in London have used crystal methamphetamine, a popular and
highly addictive club drug, AIDSMap.com reports. And
mirroring what researchers have discovered in U.S.
studies, the London report indicates that many of the
men using the drug reported having unprotected sex while
under its influence.
The study data
has alarmed U.K. health authorities, who note that U.S.
studies have shown gay meth users are as much as three times
more likely to be HIV-positive that nonusers and that
meth users are significantly more likely to engage in
risky sex, often with multiple partners, than gay men
who don't use the drug.
The London study
included 700 gay men, 400 of whom were also
HIV-positive. Meth use was reported by 13% of the
HIV-positive men and by 8% of the HIV-negative men.
About 90% of the meth users also reported using other
illicit drugs, including cocaine, ecstasy, and ketamine.