June #102 : Black Tar Smack Attack - by Lucile Scott

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Table of Contents

Can We Talk?

Crimes of the Heart

"Save Adap!"

Meth Traps

How to Recognize Abuse - and Deal

Loose Threads


International Male


Soap Dish


Black Tar Smack Attack

Female Troubles

Comic Relief

Pos & Neg

Double Exposure

Quick Study: Nutrients

Paunch Punch

Report from Retro


Tropical Trannie

Quick Study: Depression

Warning Signs

Tunnel of Grub

Resources: Good News

Skin Trade

Editor's Letter


Trading Spaces

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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June 2004

Black Tar Smack Attack

by Lucile Scott

East Coast heroin users who can’t kick the habit should be California dreamin’: A December 2003 UCSF study reports that along the West Coast, injection-drug users experience rates of HIV infection drastically lower than their Eastern counterparts’. Indeed, in the early ’90s, 4 percent of LA users tested positive compared to 40 percent in New York City. Many Left Coasters use viscous, black-tar heroin—which, to permit injection, they must cook at the HIV-killing temp of 165 degrees. Easterners, meanwhile, use primarily a white or light-brown powder, which requires less heat. What’s more, black tar can harden veins, complicating injection and pushing users toward less risky, nonintravenous ingestion. Tar clogs syringes, too, requiring frequent rinsing and disposal. Bottom line: If it can’t be nixed, give your fix a good cook and rinse. And that’s from sea to shining sea.

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