Impact of chemsex on sexually transmitted infections and HIV in UK reviewed

A new report has been published which looks at the relationship between sexually transmitted infections among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in the UK, and sexualised drug use – otherwise known as chemsex.

Chemsex is the practice of intentionally using drugs before or during sex to increase both sexual pleasure and arousal, and is practised mainly by gay, bisexual and other MSM

The report, ‘Sexualized drug use (‘chemsex’) and high-risk sexual behaviours in HIV-positive men who have sex with men’ was published in the HIV Medicine Journal and aimed to characterize HIV-positive MSM engaging in chemsex/slamsex and to assess the associations with self-reported STI diagnoses and sexual behaviours.

In 2015, there were over 435 000 new diagnoses of STIs in England, and gay, bisexual and other MSM were one of the most heavily impacted groups.

According to the report, three in ten sexually active HIV-positive MSM engaged in chemsex in the past year, which was positively associated with self-reported depression/anxiety, smoking, nonsexual drug use, risky sexual behaviours, STIs, and hepatitis C.

It was therefore concluded that chemsex may therefore play a role in the ongoing HIV and STI epidemics in the UK.

Click here to read the report in full.