Crystal Meth and the Gay Community

In recent years, crystal meth has become the drug of choice in the gay men’s party scene. Like the mainstream use of crystal meth, this trend spread from west to east – San Francisco to New York and Vancouver to Toronto. At “PNP” parties (shorthand for “party and play” – meaning sex and drugs), crystal meth, known as “tina,” increases energy and reduces sexual inhibition. The superhuman feeling that often comes with a crystal meth high means the sex is often unprotected.

The dangerous mix of crystal meth and unprotected sex got the world’s attention in February 2005 when it was revealed that a New York City man who is a frequent crystal meth user and had unprotected sex with numerous other men contracted a highly virulent strain of HIV. The virus with which he is infected is resistant to three out of the four classes of commonly used HIV … Read More

PrEP and Slut Shaming in the Gay Community

HIV/AIDS has been a major pandemic in society today – especially in the gay community. Over the years, there have been many advancements in the treatment and prevention of HIV.

One of the newest forms of prevention is called PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis. This is a drug combination used to greatly reduce the changes of contracting HIV when taken daily. It is a combination of two drugs – tenofovir and emtricitabine.

The brand name is Truvada and originally was not listed on the Ontario Health Ministry’s drug formulary of publicly covered drugs. This meant that the full cost was at the expense of the consumer. The cost of Truvada was over $1000 per month. This put many at the greatest risk out of the market.

Recently, Ontario added PrEP to its list of covered drugs. This does not mean that PrEP is free, but rather that drug programs like Trillium … Read More