Examining the impact on HIV and hepatitis C co-infection in the era of ‘ChemSex’

Joe Phillips
Nurse Practitioner, 56 Dean Street/Dean Street Express

This article examines the rising incidence of HIV and hepatitis C infections amongst MSM (men who have sex with men) patients, and how the use of recreational drugs in the ‘era of ChemSex’ is contributing to the rise of co-infection within this group.
At 56 Dean Street we see a large number of HIV and hepatitis C co-infected patients who use recreational drugs in a sexual context. I asked colleagues what they thought defined the ‘era of ChemSex’ and the following points, amongst many, were suggested:
■ HIV
■ Hepatitis C
■ PrEP
■ Advances in HIV treatments
■ New HCV treatments
■ Pornography
■ GPS apps and online dating
■ The gay community
■ Injecting drug use
■ Condom fatigue
■ Sex education
■ Community campaigning
■ Young people
■ Stigma
Some of these will be explored further below as we unpick the connections they have to HIV and hepatitis C co-infection. Read more. . .