Chemsex : definition and healthcare access matter


  • A. Benarbia
  • G. Dorard


During 2016, French health professionals have seen the increase of the healthcare request from chemsex-users. This is why it has become a matter of interest for health professionals, in terms of what accompaniment and help should be offered to these individuals. The aim of this communication is to offer a review of literature on the phenomenon. Chemsex is a sexual intercourse under drugs, usually between men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM). The main substances are synthetic drugs, such as GHB/GLB, cathinones and crystal meth used through injection, suppositories or insufflation. Because of the drugs used and their ways of consumption may cause physical complications such as erectile dysfunction and overdose. More, it may lead to infections, such as HIV, HCV and STI. However, some chemsex-users may present emotional and cognitive comorbidities, exacerbated by drug use. It includes increased irritability, memory loss, disturbed perception of time, severe hallucinations, depression following a drugs’ binge. Chemsex-users also present dependency symptoms, to either drugs, sex or both. Finally, it may also result in employment loss, financial difficulties and social isolation, which usually lead them to seek professional help. This is why healthcare professionals should be more informed and trained to better receive and help chemsex-users that seek advice and support. Therefore, this paper should open the path to examine the current situation of chemsex and chemsex-users in France, the epidemiology and health risks, and to determine what could be recommended in terms of healthcare.





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