Gay men having chemsex are five times more likely to have a new HIV diagnosis than other gay men

aidsmap/nam,  23 May 2018

Gay and bisexual men who reported engaging in chemsex (the use of specific drugs to enhance or facilitate sex) were five times more likely to be newly diagnosed with HIV, nine times more likely to be diagnosed with hepatitis C and four times more likely to be diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection during a 13-month follow-up period, according to London data published this week in HIV Medicine.

Chemsex: film screening and panel discussion

SAMESH, November 2017

Chemsex is a documentary that exposes the other side to modern gay life, telling
the story of gay men struggling to make it out of ‘the scene’ alive. This powerful and unflinching film followers a group of men battling with HIV, drug addiction, and finding acceptance in a changing world.

The screening will be followed by a discussion about the film with an Alcohol and Other Drug specialist in an attendance to provide insight.

We encourage clinicians and nurses to attend the CHEMSEX film. The use of ICE/Meth within the MSM community is increasing and we need to develop appropriate services to support these vulnerable community members.

Details:

Wednesday 22 NOVEMBER, 6 PM – 8 PM
57 Hyde Street Adelaide
Free entry – please note this is an 18+ event

Download flyer: Feast_2017_Events_Chemsex

 

 

Andrews Government backflips on safe injecting room trial because current drug policy ‘not working’

ABC News, 31/10/2017

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has said he changed his mind about supporting a safe injecting room trial in inner Melbourne because a jump in the number of overdoses showed the current approach was failing.

The Government has confirmed it will hold a two-year trial a centre at heroin hotspot North Richmond under a bold plan that includes tougher penalties for drug traffickers.

The medically supervised service will be run at North Richmond Community Health, which is already handing out a million syringes every month.

Methamphetamine use in Adelaide climbs as SA calls for action on drug ‘scourge’

ABC news, 25.01.2017

Methamphetamine use in Adelaide rose 25 per cent in the past year and tripled over five years, an analysis of the city’s sewage has shown.

Read more here

Lives of Substance (new website)

National Drug Research Institute (NDRI), in collaboration with Healthtalk Australia, Monash University and Centre for Social Research in Health (CSRH), 

The Lives of Substance website has two aims. First, it aims to support people who consider themselves to have an alcohol or other drug addiction, dependence or habit, and second, it aims to inform the public by sharing personal stories of these experiences.

The media has long been filled with stories of drug use and addiction, but these stories often rely on stereotypes and offer few clues about the range of people affected by addiction issues, the variety of experiences people have and the many ways they cope and even thrive. Lives of Substance aims to fill in the many gaps in public discussions of addiction, to counter stigmatising misconceptions, and to promote understanding and more effective community responses.

The website is based on a carefully conducted research project that collected detailed life stories of people who consider themselves to have an addiction, dependence or drug habit. These stories were analysed by a team of highly experienced researchers, and key themes were identified. These are presented here using video re-enactments, original audio recordings and written extracts from the interviews.

This website is based on qualitative research conducted in Australia by researchers from Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute (NDRI), in collaboration with Healthtalk Australia, Monash University and the University of New South Wales’ Centre for Social Research in Health (CSRH).

Access website here 

Key findings from the 2016 IDRS: A survey of people who inject drugs

NDARC/UNSW, 10/10/2016

The Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) monitors emerging trends in the use, price, purity and availability of heroin, methamphetamine (speed powder, base and crystal), cocaine and cannabis. In addition to a survey of people who inject drugs (PWID), the annual data collection also includes a survey of key experts (KE) who are professionals in the field of illicit drugs and the analysis of existing indicator data on drug-related issues. Since 1999, all three components of the IDRS have been conducted annually in every state and territory in Australia.

Key Findings

  • Eight hundred and seventy-seven people who inject drugs (PWID) were interviewed for the 2016 IDRS.
  • Heroin remained the most commonly reported drug of choice for participants (46%) followed by any methamphetamine (29%), with a significant increase in those specifically reporting crystal methamphetamine as their drug of choice (15% in 2015 to 21% 2016).
  • In 2016, similar proportions reported heroin (39%) and methamphetamine (40%) as the drug injected most in the last month. In particular there was a significant increase in crystal as the drug most often injected in the last month (28% in 2015 to 36% in 2016).
  • The proportion of the national sample who reported recent heroin use (56%) remained stable and varied by jurisdiction. In 2016, ‘daily’ heroin use was reported by 41% of the national sample and 17% reported ‘weekly or more’ use. Heroin was reported to be ‘very easy’ to obtain and of ‘low to medium’purity.
  • The trend regarding the increased use of crystal and corresponding decrease in use of speed powder continued with a significant increase in the recent use of crystal (67% in 2015 to 73% in 2016) and significant decrease in speed powder (25% in 2015 to 20% in 2016).
  • A significant increase in the frequency of use of crystal was reported (median of 30 days in 2016 vs. 20 days in 2015). Significantly more participants reported ‘weekly or more’ crystal use (33% in 2015 to 41% in 2016). The frequency of speed and base use remained stable.
  • All forms of methamphetamine were considered ‘very easy’ or ‘easy’ to obtain. All forms were reported to be of ’medium’ to ‘high’purity.
  • Nationally, the recent use of cocaine remained stable (11%) and the frequency of use low. Cocaine was reported as ‘easy’ to obtain and similar proportions of the national sample reporting the purity as ‘low’, ‘medium’or ‘high’.
  • Large  proportions  (73%)  report  recent  use  of  cannabis  on  a medium of 135 days in the last six months. A third (32%) of the sample report daily cannabis use. Hydroponic cannabis dominated the market.
  • Extra-medical use and injection of pharmaceutical preparations continued to occur, with jurisdictional differences in patterns observed. Nationally, the proportions reporting recent use of oxycodone significantly decreased from 25% in 2015 to 21%    in 2016, although use varied by jurisdiction. Nationally, 10% reported recently using fentanyl in 2016.
  • Sharing injection equipment was common with a quarter of the sample having shared injecting equipment (excluding needles). Smaller proportions reported borrowing (7%) or lending (11%) needles. Around one-third of the participants (38%) re-used their own needles in the last month.
  • Nearly half of the national sample (43%) self-reported having had a mental health problem in the last six months with depression the most commonly reported, followed by anxiety. Around one- third (29%) of the national sample reported attending a health professional for their problem.

Download report here