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Chemsex 101

AIDS United, as the administrator of the Syringe Access Fund, receives information from grantees around the country, including details on what drugs are being used and what participants are asking of service providers. Additionally, staff interact with organizations on a global stage; they learn about global trends and responses in other countries. A significant number of Syringe Access Fund grantees have shared concerns about being able to respond to an increase in people who use stimulants, particularly around sexual activities. Questions about booty-bumping and supplies for a kit; how to reach communities of men who have sex with men who are engaged in chemsex; what supplies and resources to have available for sex workers using stimulants. As providers of harm reduction services, we have an obligation to ensure adequate resources for all clients. Resources on chemsex have mostly come from our friends in Europe. While valuable, their experiences are specific to their communities and the laws of their countries. Additionally, these resources often limit their scope to men who have sex with men, ignoring the fact that other communities also engage in chemsex.

AIDS United, in collaboration with Brandie Wilson and the Chicago Recovery Alliance, have created a new toolkit on chemsex. This toolkit and webinar provide harm reduction organizations and syringe services programs an overview of chemsex, including the communities impacted and the range of use; a description of the different substances being used, including their effects, what to expect when using, and how to stay safe; a summary of education to provide participants, the importance of peers, harm reduction strategies, and the role technology plays in chemsex.

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