There has recently been an increase in monkeypox cases within the UK, however the risk of catching it remains low. Monkeypox can affect anyone; however the majority of monkeypox cases in the UK continue to be in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM), with the infection being passed on mainly through close contact between people in interconnected sexual networks. Therefore, these groups in particular are advised to be aware of the symptoms, especially any new rashes or lesions on any part of their body. If you have symptoms of monkeypox please contact a sexual health service or call NHS 111. For more information, please visit nhs.uk.
Chems are taken to get high, chill out, to be part of the crowd, feel comfortable and to lose inhibitions. They can enhance feelings of pleasure, friendship and intimacy but when the user sobers up then there are often periods of regret, depression and realisation of the risks taken. Chems are easy to access (widely offered / requested on grindr and other hook up apps) and often not associated with traditional (heroin) drug taking.
Longer rougher sex sessions using chems increase the risk of hepatitis C being transmitted. Sex on chems can cause people to take sexual risks they wouldn't normally take, increasing the chance of picking up HIV and other STI’s.
Your local sexual health service provides a full sexual health screening service including tests for: Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, rapid HIV testing (60 seconds), Hepatitis B and C as well as vaccinations against Hepatitis A and B, free treatment and advice. All the services offer professional, non-judgemental care and support for sexual health problems to everybody, irrespective of their sexuality or sex life
The Gauge clinic at the Florey Clinic in Reading is a specific weekly clinic for gay and other men who have sex with men.The LGBT+ clinic in Reading also operates weekly.
Gay and other men who have sex with men are welcome at any clinic session at the Garden Clinic. There is a men only clinic at the Garden Clinic, Upton Hospital from 5-7 pm on Mondays for booked appointments only.
Three quarters of men who have sex with men have used at least one recreational drug (excluding alcohol). It is important to remember that not all gay guys use chems guys and that chems are not soley used by gay guys. Knowing what is around and how the drugs can affect your body and mind can help you play more safely. Traditionally the party drugs were cocaine, MDMA, Viagra and poppers but increasingly these are being replaced with other drugs such as;
Go to the Friday/Monday site to find more information about sex and drugs for gay and bi men.