To examine patterns, consequences and correlates of methamphetamine use among adolescent/young adult men who have sex with men (YMSM).
Descriptive, bivariate and hierarchical regression analyses of cross-sectional data.
Howard Brown Health Center, a community-based facility in Chicago, IL from 2004-2005.
310 YMSM age 16-24 completed an anonymous, computer-assisted survey.
Main Outcome Measure
Methamphetamine use in the past year.
Participants ranged in age from 16-24 years (M=20.3); 70% were of color. Participants reported a number of high-risk sexual and substance use behaviors. Thirteen percent used methamphetamine in the past year. Methamphetamine use was more common among HIV-infected participants, odds ratio (OR) = 2.8; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.3-5.3, and varied by age and race/ethnicity; substantially higher prevalence was reported by older and non African-American YMSM (p<0.001). Compared to other illicit substance users, methamphetamine users reported more memory difficulties, impairments in daily activities and unintended risky sex resulting from substance use (all p<0.01). Hierarchical regression identified sexual risk (unprotected intercourse and multiple partners), sexualized social context (e.g. internet sex, sex in a bathhouse/sex club, sex with older partners, and commercial sex), lower self-esteem and psychological distress as correlated with methamphetamine use among participants (p<0.05).
A substantial proportion of YMSM in this sample use methamphetamine. Methamphetamine use is a public health problem with significant implications for the health and well-being of adolescent/young adult MSM. Methamphetamine use was associated with HIV-related risk and patterns of use were predicted by demographics, sexualized social contexts, and psychological variables.