Background/introduction Research suggests that drug use may be higher among men who have sex with men (MSM), and links between drug use and risky sexual behaviours are well established. Evidence suggests that MSM who report ‘ever using’ drugs may report using a variety of drug types.
Aim(s)/objectives To explore multi-drug use and associated sexual risk behaviours within a community sample of MSM in Scotland.
Methods Analysis of data from 1292 MSM participating in bar-based surveys in Scotland in 2014. Factors related to ‘ever using’ and multi-drug use within the previous 12 months were examined. Multi-drug use was calculated using those who reported more than one type of drug use in the previous 12 months (injecting, snorting or psychoactive drugs).
Results The mean age of men sampled was 34.72 years (range 18–82, SD = 11.23). Most men identified as gay (92.3%) and reported being educated post 16 (85.8%). 42.6% of men reported ‘ever using’ drugs and of those, 55.3% had used within the last 12 months. 47.8% of men using within the last 12 months reported multi-drug use. Men who had used drugs within the last 12 months and those reporting multi-drug use were more likely to report more risky sex, specifically group sex. However, they also reported higher rates of both HIV and STI testing.
Discussion/conclusion The percentage of men reporting multi-drug use is consistent with previous research. Although men reported more risky sexual behaviours, testing rates would suggest they understand and respond to these risks. HIV/STI screening may present opportunities to identify and address potentially problematic drug use with attendees.
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