November 16, 2018 at 9:35 am EST | by Staff reports
Aussie popper ban harms gay men: advocates
HIV and drug use, gay news, Washington Blade

(Photo by Xyboi; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

LONDON — Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration failed to consider the therapeutic uses of alkyl nitrites – including their use in receptive anal sex – when they proposed to ban the inhalants, LGBT health advocates have warned, according to a Guardian article.

The Administration was scheduled to meet with sexual health physician Vincent Cornelisse and community health advocate Daniel Reeders this week after the pair made a submission warning a ban would criminalize the practice of an estimated 90,000 adult gay and bisexual men who use the inhalant during intercourse, the Guardian said.

After its interim decision in September, the Administration is conducting consultation on its proposal to ban alkyl nitrites, which has triggered a backlash over its discriminatory impact on gay and bisexual men, the Guardian reports. Cornelisse, Reeders and three other co-authors have made a submission arguing that in its interim decision, the Administration failed to properly weigh the risks and benefits of alkyl nitrites, commonly referred to as “poppers.” Amyl nitrate is the most common form of the drug.

Poppers dilate the user’s blood vessels, helping receptive sexual partners comfortably enjoy anal sex. The proposal would list alkyl nitrites in schedule 9, along with the most serious drugs and effectively criminalize possession and use, the article notes.

The Administration has claimed that there is a “high potential for misuse and abuse of alkyl nitrites for euphoric properties, and as sex aids due to their muscle relaxant properties” in “particular sections of the community,” the Guardian said.

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