Background/introduction Chemsex involves sex under the influence of psychoactive drugs such as gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), mephedrone and crystal methamphetamine. There’s been an increasing trend of chemsex use among UK men who have sex with men (MSM) requiring services to tackle this growing problem.
Aim(s)/objectives To review the first year’s progress of a newly developed chemsex clinic co-commissioned by sexual health and drugs and alcohol commissioners.
Methods Prospective data collection of patients attending clinic from April 2015 to March 2016. Data was collected on demographics, risk taking, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and drug use.
Results 43 patients were seen. 34 (79.1%) were White British, and 42 (97.7%) were MSM. 19 (44.2%) were referred through genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics, of which 10 (52.6%) were for post-exposure prophylaxis, 9 (20.9%) through HIV services, and 7 (16.3%) self-referrals. 24 (55.8%) were HIV positive, and 10 (23.3%) had Hepatitis C. 32 (74.4%) reported episodes of condomless sex, 21 (48.8%) engaged regularly in group sex and 5 (11.9%) participated in fisting, highlighting high rates of sexual risk taking. 36 (83.7%) patients reported taking mephedrone, 29 (67.4%) GHB, and 12 (27.9%) crystal meth. 23 (53.5%) patients injected. 21 STIs were found in 16 (37.2%) patients, with 10 (47.6%) Gonorrhoea infections, 4 (19.0%) chlamydia, 3 (14.3%) syphilis and 3 (14.3%) Hepatitis C.
Discussion/conclusion Our data shows high rates of risk taking among chemsex participants with resultant high rates of STIs. Targeted harm reduction interventions need to be developed in GUM clinics to continue to address this issue.
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