'Chemsex' putting people at risk of HIV, STIs

Addressing chemsex related morbidities should be a public health priority, say experts

Zee Media Bureau

London: Experts have raised concerns over the rising incidence of 'chemsex' – sex under the influence of illegal drugs and often with multiple partners - as it may put users at risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

The practice is exclusively seen among gay men using a combination of drugs such as mephedrone, GHB, GBL and crystal meth to enable them to have sexual sessions lasting hours or even days.

“Although some services are now developing specific chemsex and party drug clinics, the lack of data limits the advice that clinicians can give,” the authors noted in the paper.

“Addressing chemsex related morbidities should be a public health priority,” say the specialists working in sexual health and substance abuse in London.

Despite the different funding streams, creating centres of excellence for sexual health and drug services "could be a cost effective solution to diminished resources in both sectors," they wrote in the paper.

“ It could also be a source of data for further research into chemsex that would help commissioners in their decision making,” they concluded.

The research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) warned that people who engage in chemsex are putting themselves at risk of not only sexually transmitted diseases but also serious mental harm due to drug dependency.

(With Agency inputs)

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