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Party and play in the closet? Exploring club drug use among Swedish men who have sex with men

Journal article
Authors Frida Petersson
Ronny Tikkanen
Axel J. Schmidt
Published in Substance Use & Misuse
Volume 51
Issue 9
Pages 1093-1103
ISSN 1082-6084
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Social Work
Pages 1093-1103
Language en
Keywords club drug use, MSM, sexual health, sexual risk behaviour, Sweden
Subject categories Sociology, Social Work


Background Men who have sex with men (MSM) is a population that is less frequently the target of drug research in a Scandinavian context. Objectives This study aims to explore: (1) the existence of club drug use among a sample of Swedish MSM, and (2) associations between club drug use and sociodemographic, sociosexual and sexual risk behaviour. Methods The data used in the analysis are drawn from a larger European study on MSM and HIV. The analytic sample consisted of 3,004 MSM who resided in Sweden at the time they answered the questionnaire. SPSS 20.0 statistical software was used to perform the analysis. The primary outcome variable was a dichotomous measure of having used club drugs in the past 12 months vs. not. The independent variables were categorised into three domains, sociodemographic, sociosexual and sexual risk behaviour. The analysis was undertaken as a univariable analysis (with Chi-square tests and Pearson’s biserial correlation). Results Results show that club drug use exists in the Swedish MSM population and is particularly prevalent among gay identified, younger MSM from metropolitan areas, and among men with diagnosed HIV or other STIs. Moreover, club drug use was common among the men that had more sexual partners and took more sexual risks. These men were also more likely to have been diagnosed with an STI. Conclusions MSM who use club drugs have to be acknowledged in the Swedish drug policy context, as well as within clinical practice. Further research is needed to develop an understanding of the social and contextual dimensions involved in club drug use among Swedish MSM

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