THE penultimate chapter of an online information source for gay, bi or trans HIV-positive men who use crystal meth, aka “tina”, has been released.

Turning Tina is a peer-collated resource spearheaded by the The Institute of Many (TIM) and Living Positive Victoria.

[showads ad=MREC] The third instalment of the four-part series focuses on the safer use of tina as risk reduction management. Here are some of the top points.

PLEASE NOTE: The following material may trigger and/or elicit cravings if you have or had an issue with substance use.  The purchase, possession and supply (including ‘gifting’ or giving free of charge) of quite small quantities of methamphetamine is a criminal offence in all Australian states and territories and a conviction can create significant reputation, employment and international travel challenges and impediments. 

Smoking tina:

  • If you’re looking to cut down, or be better at monitoring use, keep a record in your phone of when you last picked up the pipe. Experiment with setting limits, e.g. every hour, etc.
  • If you’re smoking off foil, the contact high is greater than glass, so bear that in mind and adjust usage accordingly.
  • That glass pipe gets very hot when being used. If you’re using it during a long session, it can be easy to drop when you’re high. Try and keep your pipe in a designated part of the room, preferably away from lube, phones, or water.
Audience members at the launch of Turning Tina and Touchbase two resources for LGBTI people.

Audience members at the launch of Turning Tina and Touchbase —  two new online resources for LGBTI people.

Blasting (injecting) tina:

There are a range of potential harms associated with injecting drugs, including the spread of HIV, hepatitis C and other blood-born virus if needles are being reused or shared.

  • How long have you been partying? Injecting is a precise skill, requiring a steady hand and clear vision: the very things crystal and other drugs can affect.
  • Are you both using your own fresh, sealed syringes and other injecting equipment?
  • Never share injecting equipment: Hepatitis C and HIV can be spread this way
  • There are safe injecting tutorials on YouTube. If you are going to inject yourself, or want to feel more comfortable with being injected by a party partner, do your research. Your doctor may also be helpful.

Users who are new to blasting are often reliant on their sex partners to inject them. If so, consider the following:

  • How well do you know the person injecting you? Have you just met? Do they appear to know what they are doing? Don’t be shy in asking them how often they’ve done this.
  • Some guys deliberately refrain from learning how to inject on the basis that acquiring the skill will enable more frequent injecting. The downside of not acquiring the skill is your reliance on others to do it for you and the skills offering in others can be highly variable.
  • Also important to bear in mind that if you are injecting other people with tina for them, you are criminally liable if anything goes wrong.

Some additional points to take on-board:

  • How hydrated are you? Use of crystal rapidly dehydrates users and dehydration can, among other things, make veins very difficult to find. Up your fluid intake and drink consistently throughout a play session. Remember that alcohol simply adds to the dehydration effect and stick to non-alcoholic drinks, preferably ones containing an electrolyte replacement ingredient.
  • How much lube are you using? Given the dehydrating effect you’ll need to increase the standard amount of lube and more if you’re older. Crystal can dull pain from friction grazes and tears so you might not feel it at the time it occurs but you will eventually. Increase the amount of lube you apply to reduce the possibility of damage and greatly enhance pleasure.

Shafting tina:

Shafting or booty bumping involves squirting solution of tina and sterile water inside your arse, allowing it to enter the bloodstream through the anal walls (which are very absorbent, and another way to become HIV positive). If you’re booty bumping, keep these tips in mind:

  • Do not engage in anal sex for at least 15-30 minutes after you’ve shafted crystal. Fucking may result in tears to the anus if the crystal isn’t fully dissolved.
  • The crystal must be in solution or encased in a gel cap, tissue wrap, etc. Never rub crystal directly on the lining of the arse, you can scratch/burn the mucosal tissue.

If you need support there are a number of organisations you can call including TIM.

RELATED: WHY A RESOURCE IS NEEDED FOR HIV+ CRYSTAL METH USERS, FROM A USER WHO KNOWS

RELATED: LET’S TALK ABOUT TINA

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