AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 181–192 | Cite as

Intertwining Epidemics: A Review of Research on Substance Use Among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Its Connection to the AIDS Epidemic

  • Ron Stall
  • David W. Purcell


This paper reviews the (1) literature on substance use among men who have sex with men (MSM), (2) data that test whether connections between substance use and abuse and high-risk sexual behavior exist among MSM, and (3) ways that HIV interventions might address the effects of substance use on high-risk sexual behavior. We conclude that while alcohol use patterns are not substantially different between gay and heterosexual men, gay men do use more kinds of other drugs. Although there is considerable evidence to support the view that substance use patterns have declined among gay men since the mid-1980s, substance use should still be regarded as a health risk in this population. Although the associations between substance use and sexual risk-taking for HIV are complex, the inclusion of interventions to disentangle substance use and high-risk sexual practices may increase the efficacy of AIDS prevention efforts among gay men.

men who have sex with men gay men substance use and abuse HIV prevention HIV/AIDS 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ron Stall
    • 1
  • David W. Purcell
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS)University of California, San FranciscoSan Francisco
  2. 2.Division of HIV/AIDS PreventionNational Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlanta

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