Methamphetamine Use and Sexual Risk Behaviors among Men Who Have Sex With Men in a Mexico-US Border City

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American Journal on Addictions

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© 2020 American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry Background and Objectives: Methamphetamine (meth) use and its related risk behaviors for HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) are a public health concern across the Mexico-US border. This study aims to contribute to the limited literature of meth use and sexual risk behaviors among Latino MSM on the Mexico-US border. Methods: Data were drawn from the Meth Pilot Study (2014-2015) among men who use meth (n = 100). Descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis comparing MSM to non-MSM were conducted using Pearson’s χ2 test, Fisher’s exact tests, and Mann-Whitney U test; all tests were conducted using SPSS v.25. Results: Most participants obtained meth in El Paso, Texas (87.2%), used meth orally (65.2%) or smoked (78.3%), and the most common reason for initiation was curiosity. Significant differences (P <.05) in meth use behaviors and sexual risk behaviors between MSM and non-MSM who used meth included: median number of sex partners (7 vs 3), being penetrated anally by last sexual partner (31.6% vs 1.4%), and engaging in transactional sex ever (63.2% vs 9.6%) and past 12 months (52.6% vs 6.8%). Finally, rates of HIV positivity were higher among MSM than non-MSM (10.5% vs 1.4%). Discussion and Conclusions: Among men who use meth, MSM are engaging in higher HIV risk behaviors compared with non-MSM. Understanding these risks could help identify candidates for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and evidence-based substance use disorder treatment options. Scientific Significance: This study reveals that Latino MSM who use meth is a high-risk group for HIV and a need for tailored interventions. (Am J Addict 2020;29:111–119).





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