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Methamphetamine use and infectious disease-related behaviors in men who have sex with men: implications for interventions


Aims Review the current evidence regarding the prevalence of methamphetamine use among men who have sex with men (MSM) and to evaluate the factors that contribute to methamphetamine use and potential for sexual transmission of HIV and other infectious diseases. Methods Databased reports address (1) epidemiology of methamphetamine use in MSM; (2) methamphetamine use and risk behaviors for sexually transmitted infections; and (3) interventions. Findings Methamphetamine use is highly prevalent in MSM. Strong associations between methamphetamine use and HIV-related sexual transmission behaviors are noted across studies of MSM and correspond to increased incidence for HIV and syphilis compared to MSM who do not use the drug. Behavioral treatments produce sustained reductions in methamphetamine use and concomitant sexual risk behaviors among methamphetamine-dependent MSM. Conclusions Brief screening of methamphetamine use for MSM who seek physical, mental health and substance abuse services is recommended. Behavioral interventions that address methamphetamine use may range from brief interventions to intensive out-patient treatments.

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