Explanations for methamphetamine use among gay and bisexual men in New York City

Perry N. Halkitis, Beth N. Fischgrund, Jeffrey T. Parsons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Qualitative interview data from Project Tina, a formative investigation of methamphetamine use among gay and bisexual men in New York City, were used to explore the reasons men use methamphetamine. Interviews were conducted with 48 active methamphetamine users, and coding revealed that a majority of the men used the substance to enhance sexual experiences. However, usage was also related to physical needs, emotional needs, and socialization. Differential explanations were noted across participant HIV serostatus, age, and race/ethnicity. HIV seropositive men indicated significantly greater use of methamphetamine for sexual reasons, as did older respondents. HIV seronegative participants reported significantly greater use of the drug for social reasons, as did younger men. White participants were significantly more likely to use the drug for physical reasons compared to other men. These data suggest that methamphetamine use is multifaceted. Treatment programs should consider individual differences and motivations for drug use in tailoring programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1331-1345
Number of pages15
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - 2005


  • Ethnographic
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Methamphetamine
  • Motivations
  • Stimulants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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