Background ‘Chemsex’ is the use of recreational drugs before and/or during sex by men who have sex with men (MSM). Concern exists among health professionals about this practice particularly in relation to transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There is little data about use of Chemsex outside London.
Aims/objectives To generate a profile of Chemsex use amongst MSM accessing a community outreach sexual health clinic.
Methods In 2014 a local code was introduced to identify reported use of Chemsex. A retrospective case note audit was undertaken of patients identified during 2014.
Results 636 patients attended for STI screening in 2014. Overall 24% had an STI. There were 46 attendances in 40 MSM where Chemsex was reported. The average age was 35(19–62). 24/40(60%) were single. 39/40(98%) reported oral sex, 30/40(75%) insertive and 27/40(68%) receptive anal sex with only 6(15%) reporting consistent condom use. Mephedrone (MCAT) was the most commonly used drug, reported by 33/40(83%). Gammabutyrolactone (G) was used by 10/40(25%). Crystal Meth (Meth) was used by 7/40(18%). 9/40(23%) used MCAT combined with G. 2/40(5%) used all three drugs. 35/40(88%) were asymptomatic. 23/40(58%) had previously had an STI. 6/40(15%) were HIV positive.16/40(40%) patients were diagnosed with an STI (13 gonorrhoea (3 dual site site) and 6 chlamydia (all single site) and 3 both chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
Discussion/conclusions Introduction of a local code has given insight into Chemsex use amongst MSM. We have updated the clinic history proforma to identify high risk behaviour, allowing targeted intervention to facilitate positive behavioural change.
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