Actor Harvey Fierstein will moderate The Crystal Meth-HIV Connection, the second in a series of town meetings on HIV and gay men.

The February 8 forum, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Haft Auditorium at Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology at Seventh Ave. and 27th St., will include a discussion among Dr. Steven Tierney from San Francisco’s health department, psychologist Steven Lee, Peter Staley, a longtime AIDS advocate and a recovering crystal meth addict, as well as audience comments and questions.

The event, organized by Dan Carlson and Bruce Kellerhouse, is drawing officials from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the New York City health department.

“I think it sends a message that they are beginning to take the issue very seriously that crystal meth use is an underlying factor in HIV in the gay community,” Carlson said. “It will also help raise awareness and hopefully light a flame under the service organizations here in New York City that something needs to be done.”

The forum is backed by American Foundation for AIDS Research, or AMFAR, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Astor Medical Group, and the H. van Ameringen Foundation.

It also has a number of gay media sponsors, including Gay City News, HX and Next, which have donated free ad space.

The first town meeting, “Challenging the Culture of Disease: A Panel Discussion with Harvey Fierstein,” drew hundreds of people to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center on November 16.––Duncan Osborne

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