Known by various names: Hydro, Crank, Sparkle, Speed, Tina, Crystal, the use of methamphetamine by gay men to facilitate and enhance sexual pleasure seems to be a real driver in the recent upsurge in new HIV infections locally and nationally. A significant number of men relate, when being told they are now HIV positive, that they had used crystal during the unsafe sex that probably led to their infection. It makes you throw all caution to the wind and seems to directly encourage irresponsible and dangerous behavior.

The drug itself is one that causes many significant health issues but when you throw in the possibility of getting infected with HIV you are really playing Russian roulette. Whether you smoke it, snort it, inject in your veins or put it up your ass the results are often the same. Injecting it is of course extremely dangerous and carries with it even more potential health risks.

If you have this monkey on your back it is never too late to try and stop. Unfortunately treatment options for crystal users are pretty limited. We have listed a few resources below. In the mean time Q-City would like suggestions on how we can help the community with this major problem. Send us your thoughts and ideas.

Check these out:

Locally, the GLBT Center at 1050 Broadway is running a support group for crystal users.

Other web sites with helpful information:

Q-City Tip: Certain of these web sites may present what is known as a “harm reduction” approach that can include tips for “safer” drug use. Our advice here at Q-City is to work towards a drug free life. Sex in particular can be quite amazingly wonderful when one is completely straight (not that kind of straight) and sober. If in the future you do plan to not take our advice and use recreational drugs some of these web sites may contain information that will help keep you safer.

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