September 22, 2019 at 2:10 pm EDT | by Staff reports
Drugs, gay sex and HIV up in Euro cities
chemsex, gay news, Washington Blade
Gay men in cities across Europe are experiencing a surge in HIV rates due in part to chemsex parties, a new study says.

LONDON — HIV rates among gay men in various European cities are up along with a surge in “chemsex” parties, and the PrEP advent hasn’t stopped escalating numbers, Reuters Health reports, citing anecdotal evidence from intervention specialists and a 2018 study from Spain. 

Despite much higher risks of contracting the virus that causes AIDS, as well as other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), users search hook-up apps like Grindr for tags such as “high and horny” or “party and play” (the more common U.S. term) to find others wanting drug-heightened and often anonymous and unprotected sex, Reuters Health reports. 

The result, AIDS experts say, is that in cities across Europe, HIV is spreading rapidly among men who have sex with men, leading to concentrated epidemics in hard-to-reach groups.

Ignacio Labayen de Inza, a chemsex specialist who works at several U.K. clinics and online as a counselor for men seeking help, says “things have got much worse.”

“People are not scared anymore of HIV,” he told Reuters. “Many people I see say they think, ‘It’s only a matter of time anyway, so I might as well have some fun.’”

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