Background/Introduction Patients attending sexual health services report higher rates of drug and alcohol use. This may lead them to ignore safer sex messages putting them at greater risk of STIs. ‘Chemsex’ has been recognised as an additional risk factor in MSMs, but it is unclear how widespread this is in heterosexual individuals or outside large conurbations.
Aims/Objectives This service evaluation aimed to assess the extent of the alcohol and drug use in all patients attending a GU clinic and its impact on sexual behaviour.
Methods Self-completed detailed questionnaires were incorporated into the clinic dataset for 600 consecutive patients during February 2016. Data was anonymised and analysed using SPSS v23.
Results Results show 70% of women and 75% of men reported alcohol use in the last month, however fewer than 1/3 reported drug use. Men were more likely to have taken recreational drugs (37% v 25%). Fewer women than men reported engaging in chemsex (2% v 5% respectively). 25% of women and 30% of men regretted sex they had had in the last year with men more likely to attribute this to alcohol. Women reported alcohol use contributing to worse partner choice but better sex, with the converse for men. There was no association between drug and alcohol use and STI rates.
Discussion/conclusion Alcohol does not appear to impact as much upon sexual behaviour as previously suggested. Chemsex is prevalent amongst heterosexuals as well as MSMs and questions on this should be incorporated into standard data collection in clinic.
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