“I went down some dark roads after my ex broke up with me,” said Joel. “He was the love of my life. After he left, I felt worthless. I kept thinking, ‘Now I have to start dating again? Who’s going to want to date me? I’m forty, I’m HIV positive and I’ve just been dumped.’”
Soon after his break up, Joel, a 43-year-old menswear designer, found himself on Internet sex sites. He quickly met up with several men who encouraged him to bareback and use crystal. “That drug became part of my diet. I got down to 180 pounds.” At 6’2”, Joel weighed the same as when he was a junior in high school. “I started seeing this guy who was totally hot but he fucked with my head. He even whored me out to his friends. I felt like I was part of this club. These guys would just show up at my house. Then they started to invite new guys. We’d take turns gang banging them as though it was an initiation rite of passage. It was hot at first, but then I realized what was really going on.”
After talking with one of the new guys, Joel discovered that his new buddies were lying about their status on-line in order to lure HIV negative men into their group. They used crystal to persuade them to engage in unsafe sex. When Joel confronted his new fuck buddy, he was berated harshly. “He flipped out on me,” said Joel, “He said, ’Grow up. You knew exactly what we’re doing.’”
Joel told me that this underground group of men designate themselves as Stealth.
“I contracted so many STD’s during that period. It was embarrassing. That drug is poison and some of these guys have been using for years. Their brains are fried. Thank God I finally got my act together. I’ve been going to Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). And just to tell you how pervasive this Stealth group is; I brought it up at a meeting and more than half the group had either heard about Stealth or was a member at one time.”