This forum grew out of an interest in having dialogues between researchers, providers and community members (these categories are not mutually exclusive groups). This would serve the dual purpose of giving research legs so that it can inform programs and helping ensure that program and life experience inform research studies.
Another factor for calling this meeting was the high prevalence of HIV among men who have sex with men and are also injection drug users (MSM IDUs). In San Francisco, the prevalence of HIV among MSM IDUs is 35%. MSM IDUs make up 9% of the cumulative AIDS cases in California, and 6% of the cumulative AIDS cases in the US. Currently, the San Francisco Community Planning Group has listed MSM IDUs as a top priority for prevention programs and funding.
Despite the high prevalence rates and interest in serving this population, there are few services, limited infrastructure and scant research specifically addressing MSM IDUs. Most of the funding is divided between MSM-specific and IDU-specific, as well divided between care and prevention, HIV+ and HIV-.
As a result of this first informal meeting, CAPS is providing this Report Back on the forum, and a roster of participants to encourage ongoing discussion and networking among service providers, researchers and others working with MSM IDUs.
NOTE: The ground rules of this meeting were that specific comments were not attributed to specific people. This Report is intended to be a summary of the different views and ideas from the forum; not every point made is included. This Report is not a consensus.