An exploration of ‘chemsex’ in an Australia sample: when drug use and high risk sex intersect

Ray, Madeleine (2017) An exploration of ‘chemsex’ in an Australia sample: when drug use and high risk sex intersect. Coursework Masters thesis, University of Southern Queensland. (Unpublished)

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Substance use within the LGBTIQ community has been long established. However chemsex, the use of recreational substances within the context of sexual activity (for the purpose of enhancement), is a new and emerging area of research, particularly in Australia. Chemsex is most commonly associated with men who have sex with men (MSM) and often involves stimulants, such as crystal methamphetamine. The current study was developed in partnership with the Queensland AIDS Council to inform future health promotion. Participants were 663 MSM, the majority of whom resided in South East Queensland. Questionnaires were completed online or on paper. The questionnaire asked about demographic details, substances used in the last 12 months, sexual health details and engagement in a variety of sexual behaviours, including chemsex. Those who reported engagement in chemsex were asked further questions about these behaviours. Descriptive results provided rates of substance use within particular sub-groups. In addition, it was found that crystal methamphetamine was associated with increased rates of condomless anal intercourse (CAI); increased sexual session length was found to increase the likelihood of engagement in CAI; chemsex, use of PrEP and having an undetectable viral load (UVL) were also shown to be significant predictors of CAI. Finally, chemsex and PrEP were shown to be significantly associated with increased reporting of sexually transmitted infections. These results provide useful insight for future HIV prevention, health promotion and clinical intervention planning. Implications for chemsex participants and the wider MSM community are discussed and recommendations for future research are made.

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Item Type: Thesis (Non-Research) (Coursework Masters)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Master of Psychology (Clinical) thesis.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Mullens, Amy; Fein, Erich
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2018 00:27
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2018 00:27
Uncontrolled Keywords: substance use; LGBTIQ community; chemsex; recreational drugs
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110309 Infectious Diseases
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320211 Infectious diseases
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520399 Clinical and health psychology not elsewhere classified

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