Drug Use and Risky Sex Common
Among MSM at Circuit Parties
by GayHealth Staff
Drug use, Viagra and sex are a dangerous combination, and gay men are doing all three during circuit parties (CPs), according to a recent study.
CPs are popular dance parties that often last a weekend, and people frequently travel from all over the country to attend these parties. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionís (CDCís) Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention surveyed nearly 300 gay or bisexual men age 18 and older that attended at least one circuit party in the previous year. A total of 80 percent of participants used Ecstasy at their most recent circuit party, 66 percent used ketamine, 43 percent used crystal methamphetamines and 29 percent used GHB. Viagra was also used by 14 percent of the participants.
"Prevalence of high-risk activity during these weekends suggests significant potential for HIV transmission in this population," according to the study authors. "Public health programs in communities hosting CPs should aim to reduce rates of drug use and sexual risk behavior among CP participants, especially HIV-positive men."
The research was published in the December 1st issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
Findings from this research were also published in the June 2001 edition of the American Journal of Public Health. Ninety-five percent of the men used at least one psychoactive drug during the last circuit party they attended, while 61 percent used three or more drugs. In addition, 29 percent of respondents reported having multiple sex partners (with whom they had oral or anal sex) during the event. Among these men, 24 percent reported unprotected anal sex with a partner whose HIV serostatus was different from theirs or unknown to them.
Updated: Friday, December 28th 2001
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