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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 September, 2004, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
'I want to get bigger still'
As London prepares to host a conference steroid use among gay men, Pete, a 29-year-old accountant, believes he's learned to control the drug while using to achieve the body he desires.

I've been using steroids for three or four years. I started off with a six-week cycle and now do 12 weeks, about every six months.

The reason was because I've always been a skinny guy and there's a lot of pressure on the gay scene to have a good body.

I came to London as a twinky little guy and wanted to be big because they're the guys I fancy.

I worked out hard but the gains were not enough so that was frustrating.

I'm more content with my regime and diet but I still want to be bigger
I used to train seven times a week, sometimes before and after work. I was mad and I kept thinking 'Got to be big, got to be big.'

Some of my friends did steroids and then I got to know a dealer. I did my research and looked on the internet to find out more about it.

At first the results were really good and I was like: 'Wow, this is great!' But then it all slowed down and I began to realise it's as much about diet and sleep patterns.

I was going out on the town too much, taking recreational drugs and not sleeping enough.

The gains are better now I've realised that. My diet is heavy in protein and lots of carbs in the morning. Now I train four times a week, but they're really intense workouts.

I have blood tests and liver tests all the time to monitor things
I've grown from 11.5 stones four years ago to just over 13 stones now. I'm more content with my regime and diet but I still want to be bigger.

All my gay friends work out and about half use steroids.

When I look in the mirror I think: 'I want to get bigger.' I have an image in my head of what I want to look like and who I want to attract.

Losing weight is every gay man's worry, especially when you have an illness and you can't train.

I know about the risks of steroids and I feel informed.

When I became HIV, I told my consultant I'm doing this and he was fine about it. I have blood tests and liver tests all the time to monitor things.



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