The National Institutes of Health is devoting $509,000 in grant funds to a Baltimore-based outreach program aimed at curbing sexual promiscuity and abuse of methamphetamine among homosexual addicts.
By sending them encouraging text messages that are linguistically tailored to align with their subculture’s perceived vernacular.
In other words, the grant’s recipient, Friends Research Institute of Baltimore, is going to send gay men who’re hooked on meth some text messages every now and then that gaily urge them to use condoms and stay away from drugs.
The messages will be crafted to accord with “gay lingo” in a bid to appear credible and, hopefully, more effective, according to lead researcher Dr. Cathy Reback.
“We did a pilot about four, five years ago with 52 out-of-treatment MSM (males who have sex with males),” Reback told CNS News. “And we sent them text messages that were gay specific — used gay lingo — and made references to the connection between high-risk sex and methamphetamine use among MSM.
“So what I wanted to do with this text messaging intervention was to optimize the opportunity to get these guys [to have safer sex] by sending text messages, as opposed to ‘Come into my brick and mortar site that’s ten miles from your house, and come for a group [session].’ I mean – you know – okay maybe! …You know, send them text messages as they’re walking into a bathhouse, or while they’re getting dressed in their home, or on the computer to hook up with somebody.”
Sadly, Reback would not divulge the content of the targeted gay text messages, nor would she offer any clue as to which gay-sounding slang words they might contain. Similarly, she didn’t explain how the Institute zeroed in on an idea of what gay meth heads generally sound like when they text.
Lacking the entertainment value to be found in that info, taxpayers truly won’t be getting their money’s worth from this wasteful use of their dollars.