LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey
Chemsex is defined as “the use of specific drugs (“Chems”) in modern, smartphone-age sexual contexts by gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, and trans persons”. Problematic ChemSex – not drug use and sex per see - are associated with various harms such as a rise in HIV, hepatitis and STI transmissions as well as addictive practices, depression, psychosis, criminal activity and death from overdose or suicide, particularly when involving the use of crystal meth and the injecting of substances.
Data gathered in a few Western countries shows that sexualized substance use is higher among gay men compared to heterosexual men. This is associated with a greater number of partners and condom-less anal sex. There is also some evidence that the use of methamphetamine is associated with an increase in HIV acquisition.
This briefing provides information on chemsex and some of the main issues related to it.