Sexually transmitted diseases and dating
Our study found that 17.6% of all men who have sex with men visiting the sexually transmitted infection clinic of Amsterdam engage in chemsex and that in HIV-negative men who have sex with men, chemsex was a significant risk factor for a bacterial sexually transmitted infection. All users of the app in the area of Amsterdam during those 2 days received a push message on their app and were asked to fill in the survey.From the *Public Health Service of Amsterdam, Department of Infectious Diseases; and †Department of Dermatology and ‡Amsterdam Infection and Immunity Institute (AI&II), Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands Acknowledgments: The authors thank Michelle Kroone for setting up the database and Bart-Jan Mulder and Elske Marra for the support in developing the online survey. Besides routinely collected data from the electronic patient files of the STI clinic (age, ethnicity [ethnicity was defined according to Statistics Netherlands on the basis of country of birth, maternal and paternal country of birth], reason of visit, HIV status, sex of sex partner, condom use during anal sex, number of sex partners), health care workers collected data on the use of crystal methamphetamine, GHB, and/or mephedrone during sex in the past 6 months.Chemsex (i.e., drug use during sex) is practiced by some men who have sex with men (MSM) and is associated with high-risk behavior. Therefore, as of July 2016, the Amsterdam STI clinic started to routinely collect data about chemsex engagement in all clients.In a cross-sectional study at the sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinic of Amsterdam, we explored chemsex practices, risk behavior, and STI prevalence. To investigate the representativeness of our population, the same survey was offered to Amsterdam users of a popular gay dating app.In asymptomatic MSM, both urine and rectal specimens were self-collected, whereas in symptomatic MSM, medical staff collected rectal specimens.Medical staff collected pharyngeal specimens in all MSM.17.6%; In Amsterdam, chemsex is frequently practiced and significantly associated with bacterial STI in HIV-negative MSM but not in HIV-positive MSM. A first visit of a client was included in the present study and repeated consultations in the same client were excluded.Future prevention strategies to reduce STI incidence should especially target HIV-negative MSM engaging in chemsex. Because all data were anonymous and the clinical data were routinely collected, ethical approval was deemed unnecessary for this study. In addition, users of an online dating app (Grindr) were offered a chemsex survey for 2 days during the period of the Europride festival in the summer of 2016 in Amsterdam.
Univariable logistic regression analysis was performed to examine associations with a bacterial STI.Chemsex characteristics recorded were as follows: frequency of chemsex engagement; injecting drugs and, if so, if needles were shared; last time having sex without any of the previously mentioned drugs (sober sex), and condomless receptive and/or insertive anal sex after using one of the drugs.