After IRB approval, men presenting for ischemic priapism secondary to recreational ICI use from January 2010 to December 2018 were contacted by mail and then via telephone. Standardized questions were asked of all study participants on the topics of erectile function (IIEF-5), sexual practices, and at-risk behavior at the time of priapism. Qualitative data analysis was performed using grounded theory methodology.
14 men age 24-59 were successfully recruited. All men described themselves as men having sex with men (MSM) and one (7.1%) as having both male and female sexual partners. Average follow up IIEF-5 among participants was 13 (SD 4.0). Eleven men (78.6 %) described illicit drug use at the time of priapism. Qualitative data analysis yielded several preliminary themes: concomitant drug use, naivety, peer pressure, and delay in seeking treatment. Men frequently reported illicit drug use in group sex scenarios and ICI use under pressure to perform sexually or to counteract effects of illicit substances.
Recreational ICI in this cohort was part of a lifestyle of risky behavior. Methamphetamine use and group sex encounters strongly motivate recreational ICI use. Substance abuse centers may offer an entry point into this population for counseling and primary prevention.
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