Chemsex and Sexual Health
The immediate dangers of Chemsex arise from lowered inhibitions during sexual encounters, which can distort our perspective of what risks we are prepared to take. Not being aware of condoms breaking, damaged tissue in the arse or on our penises, or hastily-made decisions to bareback are all part of the risks.
Condoms and Lube
Always carry plenty of condoms and lube, so you are able to use protection when needed.
When having anal sex, always change condoms every 30 minutes. If you are having group sex, change them when you are having sex with someone different, so that you limit the chances of passing around Hep C.
Sexual Health Testing
Get regularly tested for STIs, HIV and Hepatitis C, and ensure you are vaccinated for Hepatitis A & B. Also think about joining a PrEP trial if you are HIV negative. Further information about the PrEP Impact Trials can be found on the Prepster website, or visit the Dean Street PrEP shop if you are interested in purchasing PrEP online. If you would like to join the free PrEP Impact Trial, have a look on this website to find a participating sexual health clinic with open spots near you.
Many people think that since they have chosen to have unprotected sex with their sexual partner it may be safe to share needles. But Hepatitis C can be caught more easily by sharing needles than by unsafe sex, and the treatment for Hep C is much less successful if you are using Tina – in fact many doctors will refer you to a drug service for help before they consider beginning your treatment.
Minimising Risks and Being Prepared
If there has been a risk of having contracted HIV due to condom-less sex, visit a sexual health clinic or any hospital for PEP within 72 hours of the encounter.
It is crucial to take HIV medication daily, as well as any other medication you are prescribed as indicated. Medication can often be forgotten if partying for days on end, so think about setting up reminders on your phone, or find another way to help you remember.
The Code Clinic at Dean Street offer a chemsex and sexual health service, including full sexual health screenings and vaccinations.
The Club Drug Clinic at Chelsea and Westminster also offer sexual health screenings, and have LGBT workers available to talk about any issues you are currently facing.
Contact us to discuss your drug or alcohol issues on 020 7833 1674 (10am-6pm, Monday to Friday). Ask for someone from the Antidote Team.