Doctors suggest increasing protection against new sexual practices known as “chemsex”

The scientific society has pointed out that ‘chemsex’ is a growing phenomenon that occurs in large cities, and that it is associated with risky practices that can facilitate the transmission of HIV and other STIs.

Scientifically accurate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tracking view. Photo: ShutterStock.

The Spanish Society of Emergency and Emergency Medicine (SEMES) has reported on the pressing need for protection against new sexual practices, recalling that sexually transmitted infections (STIs), these being the second cause of infectious disease in Europe, behind respiratory infections.

Therefore, this constitutes an important public health problem, both due to its magnitude, as well as due to the complications and sequelae of not making a prompt diagnosis and treatment.

In this sense, the scientific society has pointed out that the ‘chem-sex‘ is a growing phenomenon, which occurs basically in large cities, and is associated with risky practices that can facilitate the transmission of HIV and others STIsin addition to causing serious cardiovascular or mental health problems.

What is chem-sex?

Is considered ‘chem-sex‘ to the intentional use of drugs, specifically of the stimulant and dissociative type, to have sexual relations for a long period of time, which can last from several hours to several days. When some of these drugs are used intravenously, they are called ‘slamming’.

According to experts, at present, this practice gives rise to an increased risk of infections in similar proportions to past times, with the secondary epidemic to intravenous heroin consumption.

What drugs are implemented in this practice?

“There is a great variety of drugs used in the practice of ‘chem-sexsome of them are more frequently consumed in this area, such as gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHL/GBL), cocaine, mephedrone and methamphetamine, poppers (inhaled use of amyl, butyl or isobutyl nitrites), ketamine, and drugs used for erectile dysfunction,” adds Guillermo Burillo, coordinator of the SEMES Toxicology Group.

The combination of some of these drugs produces disinhibition and sexual stimulation. In this context, says Burillo, it is common for unprotected sex to be practiced with different sexual partners and this increases the risk of contracting STIsAs the HIV.

In fact, in the words of this specialist, about 30 percent of patients HIV positive practice the chem-sexwhile ‘slamming’ occurs in 16 percent of them.

“It is estimated that the practice of ‘chem-sex‘ can triple the risk of infection by HIV and even double the risk of STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, and is associated with 80 percent of seroconversions for HIV“, adds the expert.

On the other hand, it has been detected in the practices of ‘chem-sex‘ an increase in the consumption of drugs known as NPS (new psychoactive substances), easily accessible on the internet and barely detectable in hospitals.

These substances, alone or in combination with other drugs, have clinical consequences that are not yet well known, but are worrying from an organic point of view.

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