HIV Risk Increased in Young Gay, Bisexual Men Who Use Meth

Adolescent boys and young men who have sex with men and use methamphetamine are at increased risk for HIV, a new study suggests.

Previous research has shown a link between meth use and sexual behaviors that increase HIV risk in males age 18 and older. This study focused on 595 gay or bisexual males ages 12 to 24 in eight U.S. cities. Among the study participants, 64 said they used meth within the previous 90 days.

According to HealthDay, participants who said they used meth reported a higher rate of activities that put them at increased risk for HIV exposure and infection including:
•    Two or more sex partners in the past 90 days: 86 percent of meth users vs. 63 percent of non-meth users.
•    Sex with an injection drug user: 51.5 percent of meth users vs. 11 percent of non-meth users.
•    Sex with someone infected with HIV: 33 percent of meth users vs. 11 percent of non-meth users.
•    Use of condom during every sexual encounter: 33 percent of meth users vs. 54 percent of non-meth users.

As reported in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, the researchers called for the development of substance abuse prevention and treatment programs as part of HIV prevention for this age group.

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