New York: Meth Effort Aimed at Gay African Americans
December 14, 2004
"PNP? Party N' Play or Party N' Pay," says a new community-awareness campaign aimed at fighting crystal meth in New York City's gay African-American community. Posters for the effort went up on Dec. 6 throughout Harlem, Chelsea and the West Village. Sponsoring the drive are the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, Harlem United Community AIDS Center and the New York Panthers Leather Club. A grant from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is funding the campaign.
Harlem United and the Panthers will have meth information on hand at the Panther's holiday party at the Eagle in Chelsea on Dec. 18, and the two groups are sponsoring a free forum, "The Realities of Crystal Meth for Men of Color," on Jan. 12 at the National Black Theatre in Harlem.
Gay Men of African Descent reports seeing men coming in for HIV testing after meth-fueled unsafe sexual encounters. Program Director Borris Powell said, "The damage this drug does changes a person. They look different, they move different. It saddens me to see how people are damaged in such a short period of time, and the damage to the brain is irreversible. It's terrifying to see what's it's doing to the young generation."
The organizations acknowledge they are in the early stages of their meth campaign; they hope to secure funding to do more to fight the drug.
"It's a start," said Dr. Perry Halkitis, director of New York University's Center for HIV/AIDS Education and Training. Halkitis' research helped motivate the campaign. "As we talked about in the '80s and '90s with AIDS, campaigns have to be diverse, so does the meth campaign. All users are not buff boys from Chelsea."
Gay City News
12.09.04; Tyler Pray
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.