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Open AccessArticle

Harm Reduction Practices and Needs in a Belgian Chemsex Context: Findings from a Qualitative Study

1
Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
2
Department of Communication Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Antwerp, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
3
Department of Psychology, Open University, 6400 Heerlen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 9081; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239081
Received: 30 September 2020 / Revised: 17 November 2020 / Accepted: 2 December 2020 / Published: 4 December 2020
Chemsex is a growing public health concern, with little evidence-based care and support available. The aim of this study is to understand current risk reduction practices, and the information and care needs of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) who engage in chemsex. Between January and March 2020, semi structured in-depth interviews with drug-using GBMSM (n = 20) were conducted. Data were analyzed thematically. The reported preparatory measures were: deliberately scheduling chemsex sessions, and discussing preferences regarding setting and attendees. During the event, a logbook is kept to monitor drugs taken by each participant. People try to take care of each other, but this is often counteracted. Respondents highlighted needs: reliable and easily-accessible information, anonymous medical and psychological healthcare, chemsex-specific care, and a value-neutral safe space to talk about chemsex experiences. Results imply two types of users: planned and impulsive users. Adherence to intended harm reduction practices are complicated by drug effects, peer pressure, and feelings of distrust among users. View Full-Text
Keywords: chemsex; GBMSM; harm reduction; needs; mobile health intervention; high-risk behavior chemsex; GBMSM; harm reduction; needs; mobile health intervention; high-risk behavior
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MDPI and ACS Style

Herrijgers, C.; Poels, K.; Vandebosch, H.; Platteau, T.; van Lankveld, J.; Florence, E. Harm Reduction Practices and Needs in a Belgian Chemsex Context: Findings from a Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 9081. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239081

AMA Style

Herrijgers C, Poels K, Vandebosch H, Platteau T, van Lankveld J, Florence E. Harm Reduction Practices and Needs in a Belgian Chemsex Context: Findings from a Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):9081. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239081

Chicago/Turabian Style

Herrijgers, Corinne; Poels, Karolien; Vandebosch, Heidi; Platteau, Tom; van Lankveld, Jacques; Florence, Eric. 2020. "Harm Reduction Practices and Needs in a Belgian Chemsex Context: Findings from a Qualitative Study" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 23: 9081. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239081

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