Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender
'Ultimate party drug' starts downhill skid
For many gay and bisexual men, crystal methamphetamine is considered the ultimate “party drug” because it amplifies the libido, builds sexual stamina and basically erases personal inhibitions.
“It’s part of the appeal of the drug, but also the danger of the
drug,” said Jean Malpas, a New York-based psychotherapist,
who is formerly with the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual &
Transgender Community Center. “I think at the beginning, there’s
a real strong sense of sexiness, of power, of not being afraid to
make the connection and the kind of sex that you want to have.”
And for many, that’s unprotected sex, more frequently, with
Health officials say the nearly 25-year-old war on HIV and AIDS
has taken a major hit due to high rates of methamphetamine
use among men who have sex with other men.
“You do things when you’re on meth that you would never do sober,” AIDS activist and former meth addict Peter Staley told PBS’s Frontline news program. “You drop your guard. Condoms? Forget about it.”
Gay men who use meth are three times more likely to contract HIV than non-meth users, according to a study by the University of California San Francisco AIDS Health Project, the Centers for Disease Control and the San Francisco Department of Health.
However sex isn’t the only reason meth is sought after in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
Some people use it to self-medicate depression, and cope with negative emotions, such as low self-esteem and isolation.