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Lesbian , gay , bisexual , and transgender LGBT topics. Academic fields Discourse. Community Culture. Gender identities Sexual identities Sexual diversities. Even though there exists modest epidemiological and behavioral data on methamphetamine use in Black gay and bisexual identified men, no studies appear to have been published to date on the patterns and correlates of use in this segment of the population.

Rather, the nuances of use in this specific segment of the gay and bisexual community are often masked by the study samples, as much of the current empirical research on methamphetamine use has been undertaken with mostly gay identified, White samples, thus necessitating more focused examinations of the population. In particular, we examined the extent to which methamphetamine is used by Black gay and bisexual men, as compared to men of other races, in relation to both the use of other drugs such as cocaine, which had historically been used more in a more widespread manner in New York City and with regard to the geographic representation of our methamphetamine using sample to consider whether the drug is manifested outside traditionally gay neighborhoods of New York City.

By doing so, we gain a greater understanding of the use of methamphetamine by Black gay and bisexual men who may or may not be immersed in traditional gay cultural circles.

Brother to Brother: New Writing by Black Gay Men

Such understandings have immediate implications for prevention efforts targeting Black gay and bisexual methamphetamine users as well as non-gay Black users of the drug, and provide a potential indicator of the movement of the drug to areas of the population outside that of gay and bisexual men. In this study, we sought to determine patterns of club drug use and their relation to sexual risk taking. In addition, we sought to disentangle psychosocial factors that may predispose men to use club drugs.

We focused on five specific club drugs methamphetamine, Ecstasy, ketamine, Gamma hydroxy butyrate GHB , and powdered cocaine and collected data in 4 waves baseline; months 4, 8, and 12 using both quantitative measures and qualitative interviews. The baseline quantitative surveys provide the source of data for the following analysis.

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In order to be eligible for the study, participants were required to: These inclusion criteria were applied to all participants including those described in these analyses. At baseline, participants provided consent, completed both the quantitative surveys via Audio CASI system ACASI , and the qualitative interview under the guidance of a trained research associate.

ACASI uses a computer and voice recordings to administer survey items so that the participant hears through headphones and sees on the screen each question and response list. Recent studies have shown that ACASI increases the proportion of individuals admitting sexual behaviors and illicit drug use Des Jarlais, ;. ACASI ,. HIV status was also confirmed at this time.

Those who self-reported a seropositive status provided proof of this status i. Participants returned two weeks later for their results. As noted earlier, HIV status was also confirmed.


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Use of the drug was measured via a drug use scale developed for a previous study by the investigative team Halkitis et al. In this scale, individuals were asked to provide frequency of use in two ways: The Likert-scale data were converted to dichotomies use, no use for analytic purposes. In addition, participants were asked to identify other illicit and prescribed drugs that they had used in conjunction with methamphetamine via a checklist for the period of assessment.

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These included: The period of recall was 4 months. To assess reasons for use the Inventory of Methamphetamine Using Situations was utilized. Turner et al. Participants also were asked to identify on a 5-point Likert scale the frequency with which they had used methamphetamine during the 4-month period of assessment in the following seven contexts: Ensuing analyses examined person-level differences between Black men who utilized methamphetamine as compared to those who did not use the substance.

All analyses were undertaken utilizing bivariate and non-parametric procedures. Of these men assessed at baseline, The other users identified as follows: White It should be noted that these proportions approximated the overall composition of the entire sample where As is shown, the Black methamphetamine users did not differ from the others in terms of sexual orientation. This rate differed significantly from the self-reported use among Whites In addition, the geographic distribution of Black methamphetamine users indicated that these men resided in different parts of New York City, and in neighborhoods that are not traditionally gay.

This map is shown in Figure 1.

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As poly-drug use is a common phenomenon among gay and bisexual men, use of methamphetamine in relation to other drugs that were used in combination with it were examined. No statistical differences were noted along racial lines for combining methamphetamine with cocaine, GHB, rohypnol, alcohol, barbiturates, crack cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, or inhalant nitrates.

Also significant is the finding that while Additionally, only Similarly, only While not statistically significant, using methamphetamine to avoid physical discomfort and to avoid conflict with others, and use of the drug at home alone approached significance with Black men endorsing these reasons and context at a slightly higher level.

Analysis of Black methamphetamine users and Black non-methamphetamine users revealed that they did not differ significantly along key factors. In addition, significant differences in sexual orientation, educational level and income were not apparent when comparing Black methamphetamine users to non-users. Since the focus of the study was on five club drugs, the use of the drugs other than methamphetamine in our sample of Black men was explored. Upon further analysis, of the 66 Black men in the study, 29 In fact, across all of the Black men, cocaine use was reported by As concerns regarding methamphetamine abuse continue to grow in the United States Rawson et al.

Since little is known or has been documented about this matter, an analysis of the usage patterns of methamphetamine from our longitudinal investigation of club drug using gay and bisexual men was undertaken. Our findings indicate that a substantial proportion of Black club drug using gay and bisexual men use methamphetamine as one of the drugs in their repertoire.

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Although usage rates are lower among the Black men in relation to the White men in our study, the proportion of Black men in the study overall is equivalent to the proportion of methamphetamine users who are Black, suggesting that there is definitive use in the Black population, that might be somewhat masked given the small percentage of Black men in the study sample.

In addition, no substantial differences in frequency of use or motivations for use are noted among the methamphetamine users of varying races and ethnicities. However, the data presented here may under-represent the current levels of use among Black men given the historical epoch in which the data were being collected, This idea is further supported by our geographic representations of these users, which indicates that the Black men do not reside in predominantly White gay neighborhoods, but rather in predominantly Black neighborhoods.

Kurtz, ; Newmeyer, , yet the data presented here suggest that the Black methamphetamine-using men in this investigation may not only reside outside these contexts but may also navigate in non-traditional gay social circles. Findings gathered here also suggest that methamphetamine use among Black gay and bisexual men belongs to a larger repertoire of poly-drug use.

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