Background: To date, evidence on whether sexualized drug use (SDU) and chemsex occur less frequently in rural compared to urban areas in Britain has been conflicting. This study aimed to better measure and understand whether attending urban versus rural sexual health clinics in the United Kingdom was associated with a difference in men who have sex with men’s (MSM) experience of SDU or their access to SDU support. Methods: Men from 29 sexual health services across England and Scotland were recruited by self-completing a waiting room survey. Results: A total of 2655 men (864 MSM) took part. There was no statistically significant difference in recent SDU or chemsex identified in MSM attending rural compared to urban clinics. Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate/Gamma-Butyrolactone (GHB/GBL) was the most commonly reported chemsex drug used in a sexual setting, with equal prevalence of use in urban and rural MSM attendees. Distance travelled for SDU was not significantly different for rural compared to urban MSM. Rural MSM reported a higher rate of unmet need for SDU specific services, although this difference was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Within this sample of MSM, there were no significant differences in sexualized drug use behaviours between those attending rural compared to urban sexual health settings.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by Sandyford Endowment Fund.
© The Author(s) 2021.
- drug users
- illicit drugs
- rural health services
- sexual health
- urban health services