New York: Two Years Into Anti-Meth Effort
January 6, 2006
Since 2003, a series of eight New York forums on gay men's health, crystal methamphetamine use and HIV have helped change people's view of the drug, according to HIV Forum founders Bruce Kellerhouse and Dan Carlson. In addition, the discussions helped garner $2 million in local and federal commitments over two years to fund anti-meth campaigns, treatment programs and studies of crystal use among gay men.
However, Kellerhouse and Carlson are disappointed that their efforts did little to spark renewed attention to HIV prevention among gay men generally. They said AIDS organizations also failed to respond.
Anti-meth poster campaigns have been sponsored by groups including the HIV Forum's Crystal Meth Working Group (CMWG); the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center; Gay Men's Health Crisis; Harlem United; and the Latino Commission on AIDS. Crystal meth is no longer considered "cool," and meth's use is not as prominent, as it used to be, said Carlson.
"I feel the health department has been the most responsive if we look at the crystal meth issue," said Kellerhouse. "I wish they had been equally responsive on HIV prevention."
"The local response seems to have been sustained, if not grown," said Peter Staley, a longtime AIDS activist, citing efforts by the community, AIDS organizations and the health department. "The results of all this attention are unfortunately very hard to measure and I don't think we'll know for a couple more years," said Staley, a CMWG member and former meth user, referring to the lack of data on changes in meth use in response to the efforts.
Gay City News (New York)
12.15.2005; Duncan Osborne
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.