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High-Risk Sex Associated with Meth Use

March 24, 2006

Research Summary

Heterosexual methamphetamine users are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, including anal sex and sex with multiple partners, the San Francisco Chronicle reported March 17.

Previous studies have demonstrated a link between meth and risky sex among gay men, but the new research shows that straight users may also be increasing their exposure to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. 

The California Office of AIDS study showed that 30 percent of meth users had anal sex with female partners, compared to 12 percent of non-users. Meth-using straight men also were more likely to have multiple sex partners (57 percent) compared to non-users (26 percent), and 16 percent received money or drugs for sex, compared to 4 percent of non meth-using men.

"We've known it was a problem among men who have sex with men, but we were surprised to see a similar problem in heterosexual men living in low-income areas,'' said Jeffrey Klausner, director of STD Prevention and Control at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. "These are behaviors that can lead to sexually transmitted diseases. If you can reduce meth use, you can reduce STDs."

The research was published in the March 17, 2005 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.