Gay ‘Chemsex’ Combo of Meth and GHB is Fueling the HIV Epidemic in Europe

Chemsex is characterized by the use of drugs such as crystal meth, mephedrone and GHB, or gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, to enhance sexual arousal, performance, and pleasure.

According to NBC News: A surge in “chemsex” parties, where people spend days getting high on drugs and having sex with scores of partners, is re-fueling epidemics of HIV among gay men in European towns and cities, doctors say.

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

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.

“Chemsex is very pervasive now — it’s a growing phenomenon,” said Rusi Jaspal, a professor of psychology and sexual health at De Montfort University in the British city of Leicester who has been studying the spread of HIV and the chemsex scene.

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