Differentially classified methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men: A latent class analysis

J. Michael Wilkerson, Syed W. Noor, Jayson M. Rhoton, Dennis Li, B. R.Simon Rosser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Context: Substance use interventions for methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men (MSM) are limited by the assumption that they are a uniform group. We hypothesized that an LCA would identify distinct patterns of substance use and demographic and psychosocial variables associated with different substance-using groups would aid in understanding distinctions. Using cross-sectional data from 343 methamphetamine-using MSM, we conducted an LCA to model the patterns of polysubstance use then examined how the classes varied on psychosocial variables defined by the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model. Findings: Because we were interested in identifying patterns of polysubstance use (PSU) among our sample, we identified four classes: minimal PSU, marijuana PSU, cocaine/hallucinogens PSU, and designer drugs/heroin PSU. Men in the marijuana PSU class were less likely to have positive attitudes towards methamphetamine than participants in the other three classes. Men in the Cocaine and Hallucinogens PSU class were more likely to have higher PANAS scores (OR = 13.00 [3.25, 52.07]) compared to the other classes, and they were more likely to have higher self-efficacy to enact safer substance use strategies (OR = 10.72 [3.23, 35.47]). MSM in the Designer Drug and Heroin PSU class were more likely to have a diagnosis of Hepatitis B (OR = 4.07 [0.86, 19.36] despite having higher knowledge of sexual health practices (OR = 0.55 [0.36, 0.84]. Conclusions: Differential classification for methamphetamine-using MSM suggests an opportunity for tailored interventions and secondary prevention programs. By understanding how men vary on illicit substance use, interventionists can routinely screen and link men before they potentially progress to another classification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health , [grant number 1R21MH095430 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Alcohol and substance use
  • Behavioral theories
  • Gay men
  • Health behavior


Dive into the research topics of 'Differentially classified methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men: A latent class analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this