Methamphetamine has been a prominent part of gay culture for many years and it has also been associated with unprotected sex and is connected with HIV transmission. This article explores crystal methamphetamine and unpacks some of the questions you might have about the drug and highlights some of the stigma that can be associated with using the drug. If you currently use crystal meth or have used crystal meth in the past, please share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment at the end of this article. According to an article published at the National Library of Medicine, methamphetamine was reported to be the most used drug in the late 1990s and early 2000s by gay and bisexual men, which was also around the tail end of when HIV transmission was also very high.

Crystal meth is the shortened name for crystal methamphetamine, but there are also a number of different names used to describe the drug, including crystal, chrissy, meth, tina (or just T), ice, speed, crank and glass. Crystal meth can be introduced to the body a number of different ways, including swallowing (parachuting), snorting (bumping), smoking (blowing clouds), hot railing (an alternate way to smoke), rectal administration (booty bumps) and injecting (slamming or pointing). Methamphetamine can be found in a number of different forms, with the most common being white powder or a clear rock.

Crystal Meth / Photo 175736074 © Dimasobko | Dreamstime.com

The drug is a powerful stimulant that artificially overdrives the brain’s pleasure and reward centre, and results in an “enhanced” state of increased sexual drive and prolonged pleasure, while reducing inhibitions and impairing judgement. The drug’s power is further demonstrated by the length of time its effects, or “high” are experienced by the user, which can be 8 to 12 hours. Once the high is over, and the user begins what is called the “come down”, additional emotional and psychological side effects will become part of the experience, as the feelings of withdrawal can begin quickly after discontinuing use. These include depression, irritability, shaking, nausea, palpitations, sweating, excessive drowsiness, difficulty sleeping, increased appetite, suicidal ideation and some other mental health concerns. The come down is often accompanied by a “crash”, where the user may sleep for excessive amounts of time. While using the drug, other real time health concerns include an elevated heart rate, blood pressure, respirations, pulmonary hypertension and decreased lung capacity when smoked.

Men who have sex with men are known to experience a variety of mental health issues, so the reasons for starting and continuing use are just as varied. According to an article in the American Journal of Men’s Health, gay men are likely to experience depression three times higher than the general adult population, which can lead to a higher risk of suicide, with strong evidence that gay men are more likely to experience suicidality than heterosexual men. The article added that depression and suicidality may also increase gay mens risk of alcohol and drug overuse, unprotected anal sexual intercourse and HIV, with relationship problems, accepting one’s homosexuality, experiencing homophobia, institutional discrimination and alienation from gay communities being underpinning issues.

The connection between crystal meth and HIV transmission can be made in a number of different ways. For those who are HIV-negative, the feeling of intense sexual drive means they might engage in unprotected and riskier sex whilst under the influence of the drug, which they might not have necessarily done if they were sober. For those who are HIV-positive, the loss of time can mean that adherence to medication could lead to issues with viral load, so the culmination of these factors can lead to a spike in HIV transmission for those who are taking the drug. It’s also reported that crystal meth can stimulate HIV production and decrease T-cell counts.

In 2021, the results of the Together 5,000 study were released, which found that during the 12-month data collection period, one-in-three seroconversions among sexual and gender minorities were persistent methamphetamine users. Enrolment for the study ended in June 2018, with participants involved in the trial for 12 months. 4,786 people were enrolled in the study and a total of 251 HIV infections were identified in the study with 136 (136 / 4,786 = 2.84%) identified at enrolment and a further 115 (115 / 4,786 = 2.47%) were identified during the 12 month study period, which was considerably higher than the total number of new infections recorded nationwide. Here is some data that has been extracted from the full study results.

AbstinentBaseline OnlyIncident UsePersistent Use
Age at Enrolment
16 to 241,010263030
25 to 352,0819145212
36 to 457972018157
46 to 552396123
Race/Ethnicity
White2,2026443259
Black438141219
Latinx965482796
Asian and Pacific Islander171336
All other35114942
Incident HIV (during 12 month period)
No4,06413888381
Yes635641
Prevalent HIV (before 12 month period)
No3,87611687308
Yes13818689
Indeterminate38307
Syphilis
No diagnosis3,78611684314
In year prior1208127
Incident18516857
Persistent363124
Source: The crisis we are not talking about: One-in-three annual HIV seroconversions among sexual and gender minorities were persistent methamphetamine users

Legend:
Abstinent: No use at baseline or within 12 month study period
Baseline only: Baseline use only, no use between baseline and 12 month study period
Incident use: Indicated use between baseline and 12 month study period
Persistent use: Baseline and 12 month usage

The study also found that other factors associated with HIV seroconversion risk included race and a syphilis diagnosis. A syphilis diagnosis can directly serve as a transmission pathway for HIV, with syphilis rates in the United States steadily increasing for the past two decades. The study also found that injection drug use (if needles are shared) and rectal administration, also known as booty bumps can also serve to create a direct route for HIV to pass between partners based on the needle risk if needles are shared and booty bumps compound the risk as a result of damage that methamphetamine can do to the lining of the rectum, as anal sex often follows booty bumps.

Crystal Meth / Photo 175736074 © Dimasobko | Dreamstime.com

The U.S. City of San Francisco provides impressive HIV Epidemiology reporting, with some of the data extrapolated from the 2021 annual report presented here to provide you with an analysis that is based on extensive reporting and detail. A copy of the full annual report is provided below. 15,631 residents of San Francisco were diagnosed with and living with HIV at the end of December 2021, which represents 11% of people living with HIV in California, which is less than 2% of people living with HIV in the United States. There were 87 diagnoses of HIV stage 3 (AIDS) in 2021, with 8,759 San Francisco residents living with HIV ever classified as stage 3. The number of new HIV diagnoses in 2021 was 264 and in terms of the highest proportion of diagnoses in 2021, this was the 30-39 age group with Latinx people experiencing the highest proportion of diagnoses in 2021.

The proportion of HIV-positive men who have sex with men reporting condomless anal intercourse in the past six months prior increased from 60% in 2013 to 2020 to 87% in 2021. The number of reported rectal gonorrhoea diagnoses among HIV-negative men who have sex with men increased from 668 in 2019 to 1,028 in 2020 and to 1,109 in 2021. From 2012 to 2021, white people accounted for 42% of new HIV infections among people who inject drugs, with black/African Americans accounting for 25% and Latinx accounting for 19%, with an increase in HIV transmissions for 2020 and 2021. Methamphetamine use was stable between 2012 to 2019, then increased in 2019 and 2020, but decreased in 2021, although the decrease in 2021 could relate to a change in survey methodology.

Even though there is an association with the use of crystal meth and HIV transmission, it’s important to understand that people can become HIV-positive various ways. For some, it’s unintentional, where the virus may have been acquired through unprotected sex, whether under the influence of drugs or not. Some people acquire HIV on purpose as a result of bug chasing or just enjoying the thrill of putting themselves in risky situations, but this does not mean that every HIV-positive person contracted the virus deliberately, so we should never associate being HIV-positive with intentional viral transmission, as we each have unique circumstances and making assumptions should be avoided. At the same time, we should also avoid judging those who are users of crystal meth, as the world is complicated and we are all in different situations, so it’s better to learn from others and their experiences, rather than judging without knowing all the facts.


Poll

Have you ever used crystal meth?

Acknowledgement

I want to give a big thank you to the person who provided me with the excellent resource from the San Francisco Department of Public Health and who also inspired the creation of this article, in addition to providing me with some excellent guidance along the way, due to my lack of experience in this area. I know you have asked to remain anonymous, but I still want to acknowledge your important contribution to this article and I am very grateful for the assistance you have given me.

References and External Resources:

Featured Photo: Photo 175736074 © Dimasobko | Dreamstime.com
Article ID: CC068
Version Control: 1.0 – September 1, 2023: Original article published.

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Tom
Member
Tom
21 September 2023 7:54 am

Not right now but I definitely see meth in my future. I have been wanting to try it for a long time. My fantasy pozzing is some guy blowing clouds in my face while he”forces” me to drink his chempiss as a couple of his toxic friends shoot their hvl loads up my chasing ass. They all switch positions I threw myself a conversion party once (it didn’t work though I thought for a while it did) and we had all agreed to stay clear of drugs. A couple of the guys were reluctant to stay clear (we did allow pot and poppers) and I regret not listening to them. The advice given here to allow a dayor two of recovery afterwards is good advice and I plan to listen to it. The fact that I will be high and horny for a few hours is also something to take into account so I hope to have more than one or two tops, mostly poz but anyone will likely do. (I’d love one with syph but the others might object)

Aron
Member
15 September 2023 5:09 pm

I have used meth for a long time. I’m a functioning user. When I was introduced to it I was a drinker and would sometimes get black out drunk and go home with someone have sex with them and not know whether it was safe or not because I blacked out. When I started using meth would not get drunk I would nurse a drink but not get drunk. So in some ways I think it might have kept me from getting HIV. I’d get horny on it and engage in mostly safe sex back then. But that was before u=u and prep. Now when I get high I engage in riskier behavior. Meth brings me out of my shell sexually which makes sex more fun.

Todd
Member
12 September 2023 3:35 am

I love METH. I love sex on METH. I also love my syphilitic warped mind, toxic cum hole and diseased dick. VERS 4 PnP and STD’s I wanna BF as slutty as me…

Patrick
Guest
Patrick
4 September 2023 8:46 am

Nice article. I’ve always had a high sex drive, but I also tend to be a little shy and introverted. The first time I “parTied” with a boyfriend, it was amazing! The inhibitions were gone, and the sensations and experience were like nothing else. I’ve had great sex without it, and I’ve had great sex with it. I’ve always considered it as something like an added dimension to sex — just as some add particular kinks from time to time to their sexual experiences.

I’ve had some of my best piggy experiences with other guys while using it. That being said, I have met some hardcore tweakers who are definitely more into the bag than they are the sex. I’ve also always planned it out; in other words, if I know I’m going to party with meth, I make sure I have at least a day or two to recover afterward. You learn to stay well hydrated during the session, and make sure you eat something as you’re coming down.

I love it, but I know it’s not for everyone. I’m sure there are those who are predisposed to addiction, no matter what the chem.

Aron
Member
15 September 2023 5:12 pm
Reply to  Patrick

Someone once referred to it as a sexual enhancement and I felt that was a great was of describing it.

I steer clear of tweakers. Had too much shit stolen and drama seems to follow them everywhere.

Steven
Member
4 September 2023 1:57 am

Drugs have never been my things but been at a few parties where Meth was being used. So, fair to say taken a few loads from a Top “jacked up” on Meth. And unlike alcohol were one can suffer from “whiskey dick”, meth may stiffen one’s cock to rock hardness during sex. This being said, I agree with article 100%.

Aron
Member
15 September 2023 5:15 pm
Reply to  Steven

I would guess that those tops prepared by taking a dick pill or getting a trimix injection because it is the case more often than not that meth will cause one to not be able to get a boner. In fact it causes some guys penis to get really small.

Tom
Member
Tom
21 September 2023 11:46 pm
Reply to  Seaguy

That is what I heard too so I was surprised to read the opposite. I use trimix but as a bottom it really doesn’t matter that much if my dick is hard or not. I seldom top anyhow though I hope when I get pozzed, that changes a bit.

Miguel
Member
2 September 2023 10:37 am

And still, Chemsex is simply HOT.I stammt and smoke meth and I absolutely LOVE group sessions in which all the pozfuckers are high and Do whatever comes to their pervy minds to Catcher STDs and spread the own ones

Paul
Member
3 September 2023 4:43 am
Reply to  Jason

jason ; really good work

Todd
Member
12 September 2023 3:41 am
Reply to  Miguel

Chemsex with Chempiss
It’s one of my favorite “Highs”
My escort sex buddy was homeless and a Full on Junkie when I he whizzed a full bladder of chempiss up my gut for the first time. I got so spun it’s hard to recreate that kinda high.
He got his dick balls and hand in my ass and jacked off