CHEMSEX IN EUROPE – RAISING AWARENESS
All over Europe and mostly in capital cities, If you belong in the gay community and use apps like Grindr, it is not rare to be asked if you want to participate in “chemsex” hookups. It means that drugs would be involved, such as GHB, mephedrone, 3mmc, crystal meth etc. The main goal of these drugs is to enhance horniness, to make you feel more pleasure. The expression chemsex comes from a mix of the words chemicals and sex.
This idea behind this article is not to shame those activities. What we aim to do is to raise awareness : while under the influence of these drugs, you might be less likely to consider that condoms should join the party.
Studies show that people who participate in chemsex activities tend to have more unprotected sex. Therefore, the individuals are more likely to test positive for sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV.
One way to avoid contracting HIV while having chemsex is to learn about PreP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, a treatment you can take before having sex, and ask a medical professional if it is recommended for you. If used, this prophylactic treatment reduces the risk of contracting HIV by 100% when having sex. Condoms, however, should remain the priority while having sex- PreP should only be used in addition, as it only protects you from HIV and not from other STIs.
You can find more information about the chemsex situation in Europe here : https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/gay-chemsex-fueling-hiv-epidemics-europe-experts-warn-n1053086
You can find more information about testing and PreP in Ljubljana here : https://legebitra.si/