Background/introduction There has been increasing recognition of the sexualised use of drugs (Chemsex) by MSM in recent years. Associations with sexual risk behaviour, HIV and other STIs are well described.
Aim(s)/objectives Our objective was to evaluate self-reported problem drug use in MSM attending a dedicated clinic.
Methods Patients attending the dedicated MSM clinic were given a simple questionnaire at registration, asking about: I) recent drug use; ii) negative effects in general; iii) problems with drugs and sex. Patients were offered the opportunity to see a drug worker in the clinic, who collected more information about drugs used. Questionnaires completed between July 2014 and August 2015 were analysed.
Results 335 questionnaires were completed, but 59 excluded because of lack of patient identifiers. 170 of 276 (62%) reported recreational drug use. Of these 170, 38 (22%) reported negative effects in general, 31 (18%) reported problems with drugs and sex. However, these two groups were not identical and 14 reporting problems with sex answered “no” to the question about general problems. Excluding alcohol, 66 had drug details recorded: 16 had not reported problem use. Drugs associated with Chemsex such as GBL, Mephedrone, Ketamine and Crystal Methamphetamine were frequently identified.
Discussion/conclusions A simple questionnaire can identify problem drug use in a substantial proportion of MSM attending sexual health services. Asking specifically about problems relating to sex as well as general negative effects appears to offer a complementary approach. However, not all MSM who use “chems” will self-identify as having problem use, requiring vigilance on the part of clinicians.
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