Chemsex & health

among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM)

Evidence maps

Below are links to five maps of all 108 scientific studies about chemsex among gay and bisexual men, that were published between 2010 and 2020. They are based on a systematic scoping review that was published in March 2023, and report aggregated information about the methodologies of the studies reviewed. In addition to gaining a general overview of the methodological choices made by study authors within the chemsex research field, the maps can also be used to generate lists of all studies falling within the categories used to construct them. The lists include hyperlinks to each study.

Map 1 - Publication types & timing

Map 2 - Study locations

Map 3 - Recruitment arenas & eligibility criteria

Map 4 - Drugs included in operationalisations of chemsex as a study variable

Map 5 - Health areas assessed quantitatively against chemsex engagement

Classification of studies used in Map 1-4

i) Qualitative studies.

ii) Frequency studies. Quantitative studies with no association analysis of chemsex.

iii) MSM Chemsex Association studies. Quantitative studies with association analyses of chemsex, as operationalised in the review, among MSM. Chemsex was operationalised relatively widely, as the use of either GHB/GBL, stimulants (amphetamine, crystal meth, ecstasy/MDMA, synthetic cathinones including mephedrone, powder cocaine, crack cocaine), and ketamine.

iv) Wider Association studies. Quantitative studies with association analyses of drug use with sex more generally (including additional drugs in their study operationalisation of chemsex, together with at least one of the drugs listed above), or including <90% MSM in the analysis.

v) Longitudinal studies. Quantitative studies collecting measures of chemsex engagement at two or more time points, from the same individuals.

About Map 5

The map includes data from Frequency, MSM Chemsex Association, Wider Association, and Longitudinal studies only, all Quantitative study types. This is because the data reported requires operationalisation of quantitative variables prior to study administration.

About Eirik Amundsen

Trained medical doctor, political scientist and economist, currently completing a PhD within public/clinical health. Currently living in Oslo, Norway.

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