LONDON — A report commissioned by three south London boroughs into drug use during sex has highlighted significant risks to the sexual and mental health of gay and bisexual men, Your Local Guardian reports.
Councils in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham — boroughs that have high populations of gay men — said they are determined to tackle the growing problems associated with “chemsex.”
The findings of the report, produced by experts in HIV and sexual health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, will inform the response to the problem.
Health experts have previously raised concerns that chemsex, or sex under the influence of drugs such as crystal methamphetamine, GHB/GBL and mephedrone, could be behind rising rates of HIV and STIs in gay men, Your Local Guardian reports.
Lambeth has the highest prevalence of HIV in the UK (14 per 1,000 residents aged 15-59) and Southwark has the second highest (12 per 1,000).
Jim Dickson, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said, “This research provides essential insight into the complex needs of this particular at risk group of our local residents. It will enable us to work with partner organizations to find new approaches to reducing harm and to support the health and wellbeing of affected men.”
The Chemsex Study, published on March 28, is the first research of its kind in the UK to look at the complex relationship between drug use and sexual behavior and documents the harms that some gay men experience, Your Local Guardian reports.