Drugs, gay sex and HIV up in Euro cities


Gay men in cities across Europe are experiencing a surge in HIV rates due in part to chemsex parties, a new study says.

LONDON — HIV rates among gay men in various European cities are up along with a surge in “chemsex” parties, and the PrEP advent hasn’t stopped escalating numbers, Reuters Health reports, citing anecdotal evidence from intervention specialists and a 2018 study from Spain. 

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

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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.

Ignacio Labayen de Inza, a chemsex specialist who works at several U.K. clinics and online as a counselor for men seeking help, says “things have got much worse.”

“People are not scared anymore of HIV,” he told Reuters. “Many people I see say they think, ‘It’s only a matter of time anyway, so I might as well have some fun.’”

The post Drugs, gay sex and HIV up in Euro cities appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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