Share this article on:

Substance Use Among Men Who Have Sex With Men: Comparison With a National Household Survey

Woody, George E.; VanEtten-Lee, Michelle L.; McKirnan, David; Donnell, Deborah; Metzger, David; Seage, George III; Gross, Michael; the HIVNET VPS 001 Protocol Team
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: May 1st, 2001
Articles: PDF Only

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.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to George E. Woody, Treatment Research Institute; 600 Public Ledger Building; 150 Independence Mall, West; Philadelphia, PA 19106-3475; e-mail: woody@ tresearch.org

The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.

G. Seage is currently affiliated with the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., and M. Gross is currently affiliated with the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.A.

Manuscript received May 30, 2000; accepted March 12, 2001.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.