April 15, 2003
"Ninety-five percent of the people we see who are HIV-positive become positive under the influence of alcohol or drugs," Lustig said. Haymarket health workers, who treat more than 15,000 clients a year, do not need studies to realize that HIV prevention, if it is to stem the steady tide of infections, must focus on substance abuse among men who have sex with men.
While some gays insist they use club drugs only on weekends or special occasions, Lustig said, "Our weekend users turn into weekend plus Mondays," he said. "They hit treatment after it goes into Thursdays."
The center was founded in 1975 by a Catholic priest and a doctor who wanted to change the way recovering alcoholics were treated. But along the way, Haymarket officials followed the linkages from alcoholism to other substance abuse problems among their clients. By the mid-1990s, that path led the center into HIV prevention, treatment and case management.
Chicago Free Press
04.09.03; Gary Barlow
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