Chemsex public health issue affirms British Medical Journal

Roughly a decade ago, people in Spain began to hear of “chemsex”, a practice that generally takes place between men who have sex with men, and in which certain psychoactive drugs are combined in order to facilitate, enhance or prolong the sexual encounter. Nevertheless, figures have shot up in the last five years with the arrival of mobile applications focused on the search for sexual partners and the loss of fear of AIDS, based on the efficacy of antiretroviral treatments. “One in every ten HIV-positive patients are estimated to practice chemsex”, said Ignacio Pérez Valero of the Internal Medicine Department of Hospital Universitario La Paz (Madrid) to Spanish medical newsletter “Diario Médico”. According to Pérez Valero, although there are no general data, those corresponding to the collective of homosexual men have been recorded: between 30 and 40 percent practice it regularly, always with three substances involved: GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) or GBL (gamma-butyrolactone) (closely related); methamphetamine, and mephedrone.

An international trend?

British Medical Journal report also affirmed that recently, various authors have called for chemsex to become a public health priority. There are various reasons for this, including the possible link with HIV and other sexually transmitted infection (STI) transmission, the physical and mental health effects of the drugs used in chemsex sessions (see HERE).