Objectives: To determine whether use of crystal methamphetamine increases HIV risk behaviors beyond the risk associated with use of other recreational drugs among Hispanic men who have sex with men (HMSM).
Design: We compared the sexual behaviors and psychosocial characteristics of non-recreational drug users (non-users), recreational drug users who did not use crystal (non-crystal drug users), and recreational drug users who used crystal (crystal users).
Methods: We recruited 294 HMSM from Internet and 272 from community venues. Eligible men completed an ACASI to assess socio-demographic factors, drug use, sexual behaviors and psychosocial factors and received 50 dollars.
Results: In the multivariate model, crystal users were more likely than non-crystal drug users to have lower Hispanicism, higher attachment to the gay community, and history of suicide attempts. Crystal users were not significantly different from non-crystal drug users in number of sex partners; however, differences in unprotected receptive anal sex approached significance.
Conclusions: The additional risk of crystal above that of other recreational drugs needs to be disentangled from those associated with poly-drug use. Our data suggest that it may depend on how one defines risky sexual behavior and is influenced by psychological, physiologic and social factors.