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Subst Use Misuse. 2011;46(2-3):264-73. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2011.523265.

Substance use in the MSM population of New York City during the era of HIV/AIDS.

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Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, & Prevention Studies, The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University, New York, USA.


This literature review considers the historical significance, emergence of, and interplay between the HIV and illicit drug use epidemics among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in New York City (NYC). The continual rise in HIV infections in recent years among MSM, particularly among young MSM (YMSM), commands a need for the examination of the effectiveness of current HIV prevention strategies and a more comprehensive understanding of the complex biopsychosocial influences that place YMSM at risk. A chronological perspective of both the HIV and illicit drug use epidemics affecting NYC MSM is presented, followed by a review of the existing research on the synergistic relation between the two. Special consideration is given to the patterns and interconnectivity between HIV, substance use, and housing instability specific to YMSM, as they represent the demographic currently at greatest risk for HIV transmission in NYC. Thereafter, an overview of treatment research is provided. We conclude by offering recommendations for future research and best practices as we move forward in an attempt to reduce the incidence of HIV transmission.

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