ChemSex (also called Party and play) is the consumption of drugs to facilitate sexual activity. Mostly amongst men who have sex with men.
These recreational drug users may engage in high-risk sexual activities under the influence of psychoactive drugs. The commonly used drugs are mephedrone, γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), γ-butyrolactone (GBL), and crystallised methamphetamine. In the case of Mephedrone and crystal meth, these are physiological stimulants, increasing heart rate and blood pressure, as well as triggering euphoria and sexual arousal. Whereas, GHB and GBL are a powerful psychological disinhibitor, that also have a mild anaesthetic effect.

Some HIV medications interact with chem, and may increase your risk of accidental overdose and death. For advice about interactions with your HIV medications, ask in clinic. You can check for some interactions here.

Because Chemsex has a disinhibited effect, it comes with lots of risks, if you choose to continue to engage in recreational drug use, you can follow some simple steps to help manage and reduced your levels of risk:

Set your boundaries beforehand

Having sex without a condom puts you at high risk of getting HIV and STIs. It may also be something you don’t feel comfortable doing when not under the influence of drugs. If this is the case then agree this at the outset, it is important to always be assertive in what you want, and what you don’t want to do.

Be informed

Make sure you understand the risks involved with taking these drugs. This will help you plan how to manage them. For more information visit

Consider PrEP

PrEP may help to protect you from HIV. PrEP may protect from HIV, but not from other STIs, so it is important that if you are using PrEP, you get a full screening every 3 months.

Talk to someone beforehand

It’s a good idea to let someone know you where you are going, and what you’re planning to do. Then, if you start feeling unsafe, you can contact them for help.

Get tested regularly

Get screened for Sexually Transmitted Infections, HIV and hepatitis C. If you’re HIV negative, and concerned about the HIV risks if engaging in ChemSex, you may be able to access PEP, a medicine which may help to protect you from becoming infected if taken within 72 hours of the possible exposure.

Get help

If you want to talk to someone about how ChemSex is affecting your wellbeing and your sexual health, and how you can make positive changes, then contacts us on 0800 7720478 Click here for more information about ChemSex