Global State of Harm Reduction
The 2018 Global State of Harm Reduction is the 6th edition of this report, and the most comprehensive ever thanks to a coordinated effort of over 100 harm reduction practitioners, academics, advocates and activists from around the world. It finds that, since the last report in 2016, the global harm reduction response has effectively stalled (view press release here). Overdose, HIV and hepatitis C crises continue, among myriad health and social problems related to drug use and drug policy, yet many countries are neglecting them.
Chemsex is mentioned on page 69.Global State of Harm Reduction 2018
Global State of Harm Reduction 2016 Harm Reduction International (HRI) Back to top
Human Rights Campaign (US)
HRC advocates for LGBTQ equality and educates the public about LGBTQ issues.
The HRC Foundation improves the lives of LGBTQ people by working to increase understanding and encourage the adoption of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices.
Actress Sally Field speaks at HRC’s 16th Annual National Dinner and explains why she loves and supports her gay son Sam Greisman:
Human Rights Campaign | US
Sally Field receives HRC’s ally for equality award | Human Rights Campaign | 7 Oct 2012 | 14m 52s
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LGBT+ sex and lifestyles survey
Earlier this year, GMHC (of which MEN R US is part) promoted this piece of research for Public Health Institute, John Moores University and the preliminary findings are now in.
Facebook sponsored advertising was used to recruit LGBT+ people to take part in an online survey. Four adverts were used over 6 weeks (one MSM, one WSW, one trans, and one LGBT+ advert). Relevant LGBT+ organisations also advertised the survey on their social media accounts. A prize draw for a £50 Amazon voucher, or one of two runner-up prizes of £25 was used. The questionnaire was divided into three sections: demographics, sexual health and drug use, and psychological well-being.
A total of 4,690 participants started the survey, of which 1,110 did not complete the survey sufficiently to be included in analyses (n=3,676, completion rate of 78%). The median time taken to complete the survey was 12 minutes.
Preliminary findings from the LGBT+ sex and lifestyles survey
Men who have sex with men
When controlling for other factors, MSM who engaged in chemsex were more likely to live in a densely populated area (56% vs. 32%), have a larger number of condomless anal intercourse male partners, be living with HIV (20% vs. 6%), and have a low sexual self-efficacy (confidence in practicing safer sex consistently). MSM engaging in chemsex were more likely to report currently taking PrEP (30%), compared to MSM engaging in other sexualised drug use (9%), and those not engaging in any sexualised drug use (3%).
Matthew Hibbert | Sexual Health Bulletin, Autumn 2018, issue 59, pg 4-8 | Public Health Institute, John Moores University Back to top
London Assembly: Supporting mental health for all
Report states: prevalence of mental ill-health is significantly higher in LGBT+ communities, disabled people, Deaf people, and those with experience of the criminal justice system. And the issue is compounded by services that do not understand and meet their specific needs.
LGBT+ is mentiomned on pages 5, 7 (recommendation 2), 11, 13, 16, 21, 22, 24, 31, 34, 38, 40, 42, 43, 45, 47.Supporting mental health for all | London Assembly | Jan 2018 Back to top
Mayor of London: Culture for all Londoners
Alongside the Mayor’s other strategies and plans, this draft Culture Strategy (March 2018) outlines an ambitious programme to sustain a city that works hard, and plays hard, for everyone. A city that is built on the principle of culture for all Londoners. It is themed around four priorities:
- Love London – more people experiencing and creating culture on their doorstep
- Culture and Good Growth – supporting, saving and sustaining cultural places and spaces
- Creative Londoners – investing in a diverse creative workforce for the future
- World City – maintaining a global powerhouse in a post-Brexit world
LGBT+ is mentioned on pages 17, 43, 51, 75, 77, 141, 171.Culture for all Londoners | Mayor of London Back to top
LGBT Action Plan 2018
LGBT Action Plan resulting following the 2017 Government national survey of LGBT people – open to anyone who identified as having a minority sexual orientation, gender identity or had variations in sex characteristics. It asked questions about people’s experiences of living in the UK and in accessing public services. We asked questions about education, healthcare, personal safety and employment. The survey received more than 108,000 responses, making it the largest national survey of its kind anywhere in the world. The LGBT Action Plan contains 75 actions for this term of Parliament crossing all Government departments.
However one sees this as a step in the right direction, it hasn’t escaped our notice (at MEN R US) that the Action Plan has been launched while the Government is still shagging the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) … one of the most anti-LGBT organisations in the country and consistent in its objections to LGBT rights. For example, while the Action Plan is unequivocal in wanting to ban gay conversion therapy, it’s something DUP members have publicly advocated for in the past.LGBT Action Plan 2018 | Government Equalities Office | 4 Jul 2018
LGBT Action Plan 2018 (Launch Event) | Government Equalities Office | 4 Jul 2018
Government’s ‘inadequate’ LGBT action plan under fire from Labour’s Dawn Butler and campaigners | PinkNews | 3 July 2018 LGBT equality plan: ‘I panic when she reaches for my hand’ | BBC News | 3 July 2018 Back to top
National LGBT Survey 2017
The Government Equalities Office launched a national LGBT survey in July 2017 to develop a better understanding of the lived experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and people who identify as having any other minority sexual orientation or gender identity, or as intersex.
The survey was open for 12 weeks and received 108,100 valid responses through an anonymous online questionnaire that collected the experiences and views of individuals who self-identified as having a minority sexual orientation or gender identity, or as intersex, and were aged 16 or above and living in the UK.National LGBT Survey: Research report | Government Equalities Office | 3 Jul 2018
National LGBT Survey: Summary | Government Equalities Office | 3 Jul 2018 Back to top
Future of HIV services in England
Undertaken by the King’s Fund, this research aimed to make recommendations to those responsible at local and national levels for planning and delivering HIV services on how best to develop those services over the next 5–10 years. It included a review of existing literature and data, and interviews with national stakeholders. We then looked in detail at four geographical areas as case studies of how HIV services currently operate and the issues they face. This included finding out about patients’ experiences, through focus groups and interviews with people living with HIV. We held five focus groups and interviewed around 100 individuals, including direct input from 38 people living with HIV. Through the project’s advisory group and membership of our research team, we involved people living with HIV in all aspects of the study. We selected case study areas to give a diverse range of settings, including urban and rural areas, areas with high and low HIV prevalence, and a wide geographical spread (north and south of the country, and London).The Future of HIV Services in England | The King’s Fund | 2017 Back to top
Hate crime England and Wales, 2015-2016
Information on the number of hate crimes from police recorded data in England and Wales from April 2015 to March 2016. The bulletin covers the extent and trends in hate crime for all forces, with additional analysis based upon more detailed data supplied by 24 police forces on the types of offences associated with hate crime. Hate crime is defined as ‘any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic.’
There are five centrally monitored strands of hate crime: race or ethnicity, religion or beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, and transgender identity.
The publication includes information on racist incidents in England and Wales recorded by the police from April 2015 to March 2016. A ‘racist incident’ is any incident, including any crime, which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race. This release includes an Annex on racially and religiously aggravated offences around the European Union (EU) referendum.
- Hate crime, England and Wales, 2015 to 2016
- Hate crime, England and Wales, 2015 to 2016: data tables
- Hate crime, England and Wales, 2015 to 2016: appendix tables
Drug Strategy 2017
The word ‘chemsex’ is mentioned four times in a short paragraph, part a 52-page strategy document:
“Chemsex is a term for the use of drugs before or during planned sexual activity to sustain, enhance, disinhibit or facilitate the experience. Chemsex commonly involves crystal methamphetamine, GHB/GBL and mephedrone, and sometimes injecting these drugs (also known as slamming). Chemsex carries serious physical and mental health risks including the spread of blood-borne infections and viruses. PHE will support local areas to meet these needs by promoting and publishing guidance on effective practice, including targeted interventions and close collaboration between sexual health services and other relevant services including community groups.”
Some argue the fact that the harms of chemsex are mentioned at all is a win, and while Public Health England has done work on the issue, it just seems like small change against the turmoil of recent years including research last year (2016) reporting a 119% increase in deaths associated with GHB/GBL in London with most linked to chemsex. That’s about 1 gay man dying every 12 days in the capital.
It’s disappointing there’s no mention of gay men and men who have sex with men, or a wider LGBT focus, at all. This was included in the 2010 Strategy (with a note that treatment services should consider the needs of LGBT groups). The importance of services speaking directly to specific communities is widely recognised, particularly when addressing problematic chemsex drug use, discussing sexual behaviour openly and addressing the multiple stigmas that accompany drug use, HIV, gay sex and sexual identity. Bottom line: we at MEN R US think the strategy is a missed opportunity though the short paragraph does provide some opportunity to refer back to the strategy when pushing for better services for chemsex users.2017 Drug Strategy | Home Office | July 2017 Our response to the 2017 Drug Strategy | London Friend | 14 Jul 2017
Chemsex drugs and former legal highs targeted by Home Office | The Guardian | 14 Jul 2017
Don’t believe the hype: the new drugs strategy ignores the LGBT Community | Vice | 28 Jul 2017 Back to top
Hate crime report 2016
This report presents evidence about the needs and priorities of LGBT communities in relation to hate crime. It includes analysis of an on-line community survey of 467 LGBT people, which asked about experiences of hate crime and interactions with services. It also analyses interviews and written submissions from 18 individuals who have either experienced hate crime, or are professionals working on this issue. Despite progress on this issue, the results presented here suggest that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia remain a significant part of LGBT peoples’ lives. Additionally, it found that individuals face considerable barriers to accessing assistance in terms of policy, practice and legislation.
Experiences of hate crime
- 4 in 5 LGBT people had experienced hate crime
- A quarter had experienced violent hate crime
- A third experienced on-line hate crime
- A tenth experienced sexual violence as part of a hate crime
The Hate Crime Report 2016 | GALOPBack to top
Drug misuse 2013-14
Examines the extent and trends in illicit drug use among a nationally representative sample of 16 to 59 year olds resident in households in England and Wales, and is based on results from the 2013/14 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).
Covers the following topics: extent and trends in illicit drug use among adults, including separate analysis of young adults (16 to 24 year olds); frequency of illicit drug use in the last year; illicit drug use by personal, household and area characteristics and lifestyle factors; and estimates of illicit drug use by ethnicity and sexual orientation.
Prepared by staff in Home Office Statistics under the National Statistics Code of Practice and can be downloaded from both the UK Statistics Authority website and the Home Office pages of the GOV.UK website:Drug misuse: findings from the 2013 to 2014 CSEW | GOV.,UK website Back to top
Sigma Research is a social research group specialising in the behavioural and policy aspects of HIV and sexual health. It also undertakes research and development work on aspects of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health and well-being. While this section concentrates on the Gay Men’s Sex Survey (1993-to date), Sigma’s research covers a wide range of issues affecting gay men and you are encouraged to explore their website.
Gay Men’s Sex Survey
In 1993, Sigma Research carried out an on-the-spot survey of men attending the London Lesbian and Gay Pride festival, instigating an annual survey that has grown to be the largest in the world and an institution on the UK summer gay scene. The National Gay Men’s Sex Survey (GMSS), also known as Vital Statistics, has occurred 17 times in the 24 years since and now recruits exclusively online.
The content of the survey is developed in collaboration with health promoters, within the framework of Making it Count The questions cover a range of demographics, health indicators, sexual behaviours, HIV prevention needs, use of settings in which health promotion can occur and recognition of national interventions. The weight given to each area varies each year, and the data collected is treated as cumulative, building a detailed picture of gay men and bisexual men and HIV over time.Sigma Research | Sigma Research
State of play: findings from the England Gay Men’s Sex Survey 2014 | Sigma Research
Final Reports: Gay Men’s Sex Survey | Sigma Research Back to top
European Chemsex Forum
The 2nd European Chemsex Forum called for concrete actions at the local level to provide strategic resources to chemsex responders. The aim of the Forum was to develop a platform to engage in international, cross-sector, multi-disciplinary dialogue around chemsex-defined by the use of specific drugs (“chems”) in a sexual context … and facilitate coordinated responses to chemsex issues in locales where chemsex related harm is a problem, regardless of its size and impact.The chemsex challenge | Drug Policy Network SEE | 27 Mar 2018 Loneliness and community are key to chemsex | NAM aidsmap | 2 Apr 2018
The chemsex response is reshaping sexual health services and reinventing harm reduction | NAM aidsmap | Apr 2018
Non-consensual sex is a recurrent problem in the chemsex environment | NAM aidsmap | 9 Apr 2018
European Chemsex Forum, London, 6-8 April 2016
The European ChemSex Forum was a preliminary intelligence gathering and networking event aiming to provide a platform to engage in international, cross-sector, multi-disciplinary dialogue and discussions around ChemSex – defined by the use of specific drugs (“Chems”) in a sexual context by Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), Transgender people and any other population disproportionately affected by HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted infections. The Forum was hosted by 56 Dean Street, GMFA, ReShape, International HIV Partnerships (IHP) and Professional Briefings, with the support of Gilead, ViiV Healthcare, Abbvie and AIDES and endorsed by the European AIDS Treatment Group, HIV in Europe and AIDS Action Europe. This meeting report synthesises and summarises the proceedings and outcomes of the European ChemSex Forum and has been prepared by the organising committee in consultation with key partners.Report | European Chemsex Forum 2016 Report | European Chemsex Forum 2016 Back to top
Out of your mind
‘Out of your mind’ is a report by London Friend examining how drug and alcohol treatment services can be improved for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people. The report aims to encourage commissioners and providers of drug and alcohol treatment services to be more mindful of the support needs of LGBT people when planning and delivering services.
Higher levels of both drug and alcohol use have been reported within LGBT populations, although these groups report being less likely to engage in traditional substance misuse services, citing lack of understanding of the substance use and cultural needs amongst the barriers. ‘Out of your mind’ investigates ways in which this imbalance might be addressed, ensuring that LGBT people have access to high quality, responsive, and inclusive treatment and support services.Out of your mind: full report | London Friend | May 2014
Out of your mind: executive summary | London Friend | May 2014 Back to top
NEPTUNE has been developed to improve clinical practice in the management of harms resulting from the use of club drugs and novel psychoactive substances. It is aimed at clinicians working in a range of frontline settings, including drug treatment and recovery services, emergency departments, sexual health services, primary care and mental health services.Neptune | Novel Psychoactive Treatment UK Network Guidance on the clinical management of acute and chronic harms of club drugs and novel psychoactive substances | Neptune | 2015
Club drug use among lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people | Neptune | 2016 Back to top
Part of the Picture
The Part of the Picture (POTP) research project was a five-year partnership between The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s research programme between 2009-2014. POTP had three main aims:
- The establishment of an England-wide database of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people’s drug and alcohol use
- The use of the database to directly inform local and national policy and practice in addressing the drug and alcohol use of LGB people
- An improved knowledge and understanding of the needs of LGB drug and alcohol users amongst drug and alcohol agencies, through dissemination of the research findings
The study found evidence of significant problematic substance use among the LGB community:
- Across all age groups LGB people are much more likely to use drugs than the general population
- Problematic patterns of drinking are much more common among LGB people
- LGB people demonstrate a higher likelihood of being substance dependent and show high levels of substance dependency
- Those scoring as substance dependent are more likely to seek help, although from informal sources rather than specialist services
- A third of respondents who scored as substance dependent would not seek information, advice or treatment, even if they were worried about their drug or alcohol use
- LGB people may be more vulnerable to developing dependent and problematic relationships with drugs and alcohol
- Significant barriers exist to seeking information, advice or help among LGB people
A suite of reports present the study’s findings and detail the methodology and sample. Briefing sheet (downloads) set out recommendations for commissioners and policy makers, GPs, drug and alcohol service providers, researchers, and the LGBT voluntary and community sector to tackle this significant public health issue.Part of the Picture: LGB people’s drug and alcohol use in England | LGF/ UCLan Back to top
Public Health England action plan 2015-16
Public Health England’s evidence and action plan to address the health and well-being inequalities affecting gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men:
- Promoting the health and well-being of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men: action plan (2015-16)
- Black and minority ethnic men who have sex with men: project evaluation and systematic review (May 2016)
- Promoting the health and well-being of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men: initial findings
- Promoting the health and well-being of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men: summary document
Substance misuse services for men who have sex with men involved in chemsex
Briefing for commissioners and providers of drug and alcohol services highlights issues relating to men who have sexual contact with other men (MSM)a involved in chemsex. It contains background information, recent data, prompts for local areas and services, and case studies.Substance misuse services for men who have sex with men involved in chemsex | Public Health England | Nov 2015 Back to top
National LGB&T Partnership
The National LGB&T (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans) Partnership, a member of the Department of Health, NHS England, and Public Health England’s Health and Care Voluntary Sector Strategic Partner Programme, is an England-wide group of LGB&T voluntary and community service delivery organisations that are committed to reducing health inequalities and challenging homophobia, biphobia and transphobia within public services.
The National LGB&T Partnership members positively influence the policy, practice and actions of Government and statutory bodies and ensure that health inequalities experienced by LGB&T people are kept high on the Government’s agenda and that best use is made of the experience and expertise found within the LGB&T voluntary and community sector.Reducing health inequalities and improving access to health and social care for LGB&T people | National LGB&T Partnership Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans health priorities | National LGB&T Partnership
Building an LGB&T voice into planning systems Out Loud: LGBT voices in health and social care National LGB&T Partnership
Insights into designing and providing care and support the meets the needs of LGBT people Back to top