Image and performance enhancing drug use among men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women in the UK

Matthew Peter Hibbert*, Caroline E. Brett, Lorna A. Porcellato, Vivian D. Hope

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The use of image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) among men who have sex with men (MSM) and women who have sex with women (WSW) is rarely studied, with most of this research focused on anabolic androgenic steroid use among MSM. To address this gap, the extent of recent IPED use and the associated factors are explored in a community-recruited sample of MSM and WSW Methods: Data from the UK LGBT Sex and Lifestyles Survey was used, which recruited through social-media advertising and community organisations (April-June 2018). Participants were asked if they had taken any IPEDs (e.g. anabolic steroids, growth hormone, hCG, Melanotan, non-prescribed diet pills) in the past 12 months. Factors associated with recent (in past 12 months) IPED use among MSM and WSW were investigated using stepwise binary logistic regression. Results: 1,658 MSM and 1,507 WSW were included in the analysis. Among MSM, 3.4% (n = 57) had recently taken IPEDs, 60% of those taking IPEDs had used psychoactive drugs. In the multivariable analysis, IPED use among MSM was associated with psychoactive drug use, Viagra use, higher body dissatisfaction, and lower sexual satisfaction. Among WSW, 4.1% (n = 62) had recently taken IPEDs, and 50% of those taking IPEDs had used psychoactive drugs. In the multivariable analysis, IPED use among WSW was associated with being aged 45 years and over, recent STI diagnosis, recent sexual contact without consent, and higher body dissatisfaction. Conclusion: IPED use was reported by around 1-in-25 MSM and WSW, and was associated with a number of health and psychological problems. Research to better understand the drivers and impacts of IPED use among MSM and WSW, and how this compares to use among heterosexual people is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102933
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded through a postgraduate Liverpool John Moores University Scholarship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Harm reduction
  • Image and performance enhancing drug use
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Women who have sex with women

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