*As the winter vacation scene in South Florida heats up, new research in the Journal shows that risky sexual behaviors among gay men who live and vacation there is quite prevalent and that interventions are needed. South Florida annually hosts over 1.8 million gay and bisexual visitors and is home approximately 145,000 men who have sex with men (MSM).
Researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of recreational drug use and risky sexual behaviors among more than 400 MSM who live in or were vacationing in ten diverse locations in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in winter of 2004. They were approached on weekends and asked to complete a questionnaire. One-third of the men surveyed reported using one or more "club drugs" in the past year, a habit highly associated with unprotected anal intercourse. MSM who live outside of south Florida most often reported using cocaine and ketamine (a date rape drug also known as "Special K") and engaging in unprotected receptive anal intercourse in the past month.
"Tourists may be even more likely than residents to engage in risky sexual behaviors and use certain recreational drugs," said lead author William W. Darrow, PhD, of the Robert R. Stempel School of Public Health at Florida International University. "Interventions must be developed, implemented, and evaluated that take into account the unique characteristics of international resort areas."
*Children whose pediatricians are of a different race/ethnicity do not receive lesser quality care, according to a new study in the current issue of the Journal. What is
Contact: Kathryn Cervino
New York Academy of Medicine