There are lots of reasons why HIV-positive guys may be inclined to use Tina. Tina can be an escape from thinking about HIV, about HIV-related stress, stigma and rejection. Some guys find Tina sex provides a sexual relief, a sort of sexual oasis. Tina can make us feel more desirable and confident. Issues of rejection based on sexual racism, age, body type, and and feelings of low self-esteem can seem to temporarily disappear.
We may feel that Tina allows us to have sex without guilt, shame and embarrassment. Getting high can dull physical pain and feel like we’re getting an energy and mood boost as well.
We may be less conscious of physical changes brought on by HIV and our treatments. We may be more drug-friendly because we are already used to taking multiple meds. We may also be used to dealing with or even expecting negative side effects from drugs. If we’re on disability, we may simply have more time to engage in being high, and less money to enjoy more longer-term pleasures.
For these reasons, HIV-positive guys can be at a higher risk than HIV-negative guys for developing problems with Tina use. The close brotherhood and sexually liberated circle of men that some gay men dream about, can feel temporarily met by joining a circle of meth-using sex partners. The drug and its effect on dopamine can make you feel much more intimately connected with others than you do when you are sober. The unfortunate thing is, that outside of Tina sex, you can feel even more disconnected.