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Not a Foregone Connection

November 04, 2001

"Preview of a Tragedy" (by Gail Eichenthal, Oct. 7) was a moving personal account of the untimely demise of a friend. The information shared about crystal methamphetamine is an important warning of the dangers of this destructive drug. But readers should not presume that drug use and accompanying unsafe sex are predominant throughout, or exclusive to, the gay community.

Eichenthal focused on a subculture of behavior among some gay men. The majority of gay men do not live lives of drug addiction, and the majority of HIV-positive people are not obsessed with self-destruction. One man and his choices should be regarded as just that.

Stephen Spurgeon

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)


The article was an excellent portrayal of one individual's journey, and it encapsulated the problem of a profoundly disproportionate percentage of drug-addicted gay men. What the article failed to mention is why. Perhaps the lifelong rejection from family, friends, employers, teachers, clergy and God knows who else can begin to explain the need to look elsewhere to feel good about oneself.

Steven Afriat

Sherman Oaks


My brother-in-law died a horrible death from AIDS. I watched him bleed to death in the hospital. The doctors had told him to stop drinking and smoking, but he wouldn't. According to Eichenthal, Steve Smith knew that crystal meth would kill him. He continued to take it. Eichenthal tells of thousands of men taking drugs and having unprotected sex at parties in Palm Springs. It is inconceivable that they are not aware of the risk. But they continue with this behavior anyway.

Have the courage to correctly define what is plaguing the gay community. It is not crystal meth. The plague of the gay community is lack of self-discipline, disregard for their fellow man and a disregard for themselves.

Bill Fallon

Via the Internet


There is one crucial ingredient in the escalating drug/sex malady in the gay community that Eichenthal failed to mention. The dramatic growth of both the party circuit and the meth/ecstasy/sex trip directly coincides with the rise in anabolic steroid abuse in our community.

I am a 20-plus-year survivor of HIV infection and am in recovery from cocaine addiction. I was a competitive bodybuilder in my late 20s and have used/abused steroids quite a bit in my life. We used to call testosterone "divorce in a bottle" because of the voracious sexual appetite it created, not to mention the aggression effect it had on one's mood. Testosterone is prescribed for guys who are experiencing reduced libido. Throw a sex-enhancing drug like meth into the mix, and, well, I think Eichenthal chronicled the results well.

Jim Chud

Cathedral City

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