$509K Federal Safe-Sex Study Will Text Gay-Lingo to Meth Addicts

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

A $509,840 grant by the National Institutes of Health will pay for a study that will send text messages in “gay lingo” to methamphetamine addicts to try to persuade them to use fewer drugs and more condoms. The study began in February.

Lead researcher Dr. Cathy Reback of the Baltimore-based Friends Research Institute, Inc., told CNSNews.com how she and her team of health educators will spend the next four years and over half a million dollars encouraging gay meth addicts to cut down on unprotected sex by periodically sending them “gay-specific” text messages.

“We did a pilot about four, five years ago with 52 out-of-treatment MSM (males who have sex with males),” Dr. Reback explained. “And we sent them text messages that were gay specific – used gay lingo – and made references to the connection between high-risk sex and methamphetamine use among MSM.”

The current study, she added, will test the effectiveness of using text messages to alter gay meth addicts’ behavior.

“So what I wanted to do with this text messaging intervention was to optimize the opportunity to get these guys [to have safer sex] by sending text messages as opposed to ‘Come into my brick and mortar site that’s ten miles from your house, and come for a group [session].’ I mean – you know – okay maybe!” Dr. Reback explained.

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