Objective: Compare substance use among men who have sex with men (MSM) at high risk for HIV infection to a nationally representative sample of heterosexual men.
Methods: Compare data from surveys of 3,212 MSM recruited for participation in a Vaccine Preparedness Study (VPS) with an age-standardized group of 2481 single, urban-dwelling men from the 1995 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA).
Results: Except for alcohol, relative risk (RR [95% confidence interval (CI)]) for use of any substance was higher in the VPS than the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) (3.64 [3.01-4.42]). Drugs with the highest relative risks were "poppers" (21.6 [15.2-30.8]), sedatives (6.98 [2.46-19.8]), hallucinogens (6.14 [4.61-8.17]), tranquilizers (4.99 [2.96-8.42]), and stimulants (4.47 [3.58-5.58]). RR was higher for weekly use of poppers (33.5 [12.5-89.6]), stimulants (2.75 [1.79-4.22]), marijuana (2.37 [1.93-2.92]), and cocaine (2.24 [1.32-3.79]); and for daily use of marijuana (1.49 [1.08-2.05]).
Conclusions: Participants in the VPS used more substances than a group of agestandardized, single, urban-dwelling men from the NHSDA. In view of previous data showing that substance use can be associated with unprotected sex, assessing substance use among MSM at high risk for HIV infection is an important component of risk reduction efforts.
(C) 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.