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U.S. News

Illinois: Chicago Department of Public Health Stats Link Meth Use to HIV, Unsafe Sex

October 4, 2005

A recent STD/HIV/AIDS report from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) said meth-using men who have sex with men (MSM) are experiencing much higher rates of HIV infection and unsafe sex than MSM who do not use meth.

The study, which includes data from the department's 2003-2004 Project CHAT survey of MSM, said that 11 percent of the 1,147 MSM surveyed said they had used meth at least once in the previous year. This rate is seven times that of heterosexual men in Chicago, but lower than the meth use rates of MSM in San Francisco (21 percent) and New York City (14 percent). Of Chicago MSM reporting meth use, almost 20 percent were weekly users.

Among Chicago MSM meth users, 22 percent were HIV-positive, compared to 8 percent of non-users. Forty percent of MSM meth users reported unprotected anal sex with casual partners, compared to 16 percent of non-users. Rates of syphilis and gonorrhea among meth users were three times those of non-users. In addition, meth users were twice as likely to meet sex partners online and four times as likely to meet partners in bathhouses.

Also according to the report:

  • Of Chicago HIV cases, MSM accounted for 40 percent in 2000, 42 percent in 2001, 49 percent in 2002, 50 percent in 2003 and 46 percent in 2004.

  • In 2004, black people represented 55 percent of reported HIV cases in Chicago. MSM accounted for about half the African-American HIV cases. Fifteen percent of Chicago's HIV cases were Hispanic; 56 percent of these were MSM.

  • After a significant decline in 2003, syphilis rates were slightly higher in 2004. MSM accounted for 64 percent of syphilis cases in 2003 and 55 percent of cases in 2004.

Back to other news for October 4, 2005

Adapted from:
Chicago Free Press
09.28.05; Gary Barlow

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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.
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