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Methamphetamine and other substance use trends among street-recruited men who have sex with men, from 2008 to 2011

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It is particularly important to survey substance use trends in populations most impacted by the consequences of substance use. Men who have sex with men (MSM) exhibit rates of methamphetamine and other substance use that exceeds those observed among other populations in the United States. Such substance use has been associated with numerous negative health sequelae.


An outreach program performed street encounters with 5599 unique substance-using MSM from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2011 to collect data on self-reported sociodemographics and recent substance use. Data were aggregated into six-month cohorts for comparisons of recent substance use patterns across time


Participants averaged 33 years of age (SD=8), most were Caucasian/white (47%) or Hispanic/Latino (32%), and the self-reported HIV seroprevalence rate was 13.4%. Across cohorts, reported use of alcohol (range=91-93%), marijuana (range=36-46%), and/or methamphetamine (range=23-27%) was common; prevalence of amyl nitrite (max=14%), ecstasy (max=12%), powder cocaine (max=8%) and/or crack cocaine (max=4%) use, although less common, were still elevated relative to the United States general population.


Methamphetamine and other substance use remained common among substance-using MSM, demonstrating the need for continued substance use interventions geared toward this high-risk population.

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