The study was done to investigate contexts, patterns of substance use, first chemsex experience, and harm reduction in a group of MSM practicing chemsex in Italy.

Interviews were conducted as a data collection module for exploring general characteristics of Italian chemsex, patterns of substance use, first chemsex experience, and harm reduction opinions.

Chemsex was reported in private venues in couple and group sexual activities. Chemsex sessions were attended by the participants about 1-2 times in a month often concurrent with men-only club events. Freebase cocaine emerged among the most relevant substances consumed. A rare use of injected substances compared with other European Union countries was shown. Given the high prevalence of erectile problems, a large use of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors was reported, and noncoital sexual activities were usually preferred. The first chemsex experiences were accessed by geolocation-based dating apps and sexual partners and were generally described as positive experiences, with some negative consequences at the end of the session. Taking part in international gay events favors the first experience of chemsex for some participants. Some MSM practiced chemsex only abroad or in other cities in Italy.

The study concluded that a need for greater scientific and public attention on chemsex to act with the most specific and effective prevention and harm reduction tools.

Reference: https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(20)30725-6/fulltext