Background Sexual health services should ask all high risk attenders about drug and alcohol use. However, the impact of drug and alcohol use on STI epidemiology remains uncertain.
Aims To audit drug and alcohol history taking after introduction of a screening tool and to describe the patterns of use and associations with STI diagnoses.
Methods An anonymised database of all clients attending in 2015 was constructed including basic demographics, reported drug and alcohol history, HIV status and STI diagnoses.
Results 48,654 clients were seen in 2015. 26,429 (54%) were asked about drug and/or alcohol use at least once. Use of any drug or excess alcohol was reported by 16% and was associated with higher rates of STIs (24 vs 10%, p < 0.001). Amongst MSM, 62% had a drug and/or alcohol history taken, compared with 47% and 55% in heterosexual men (MSW) and women, respectively (p < 0.0001). STIs diagnoses were significantly higher in drug users compared to non-users (27 vs 11%), but were not different comparing alcohol excess vs no excess (14 vs 13%). STI diagnoses were significantly higher in drug users compared to non-users in all sub-groups – MSM (41 vs 20%) MSW (26 vs 18%) women (12 vs 7%) – all p < 0.0001.
Conclusions The audit showed room for improvement in history taking. Chemsex drugs are associated with the highest risk of STIs. This relationship might not be causal. Party drug use was associated with some STIs. The audit supports drug and alcohol histories for all MSM as well as heterosexual men and women attending with STIs.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.