Presenting author: Karin Di Monteiro
Presenting author biography:
Coodinator of Teaching and Research Nucleus of Centro de Convivência É de Lei (São Paulo/Brazil)
Biololgist, PhD in Sciences/Neuropsychopharmacology.
Nonbinary woman, drug user.
Sexualized drug use and chemsex in Brazil: a multiple perspective action to a multiple care issue
Karin Di Monteiro, Janaina Gonçalves, Ana Cristhina Maluf, Raí Eufrásio, Nathielly Janutte, Devlyn Schil, Maria Angélica Comis, Matuzza Sankofa
During the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil, the use of injectable methamphetamine associated with the practice of chemsex (also known as slam) and, hence, the demand for care among users increased. This was observed in É de Lei Drop-in Center and health facilities specialized in STI/AIDS, in mental health/addiction, and dental health. Since chemsex is a relatively new phenomenon in Brazil, health services in general are still not prepared to deal with specific issues raised by chemsex users. The services have increasingly sought to develop new lines of care and prevention strategies together with experienced harm reduction (HR) institutions, such as É de Lei. In 2021, we started leading a project that included a set of practical actions focused on chemsex users, such as social media campaigns, a support group, HR interventions in parties, access to HBV/HCV rapid testing, HIV self-testing and syringe exchange, in addition to developing research protocols and conducting study groups on chemsex. In all these actions, we invite people to work among peers on their own HR actions, on the production of informative material, and to act in other spaces where they can share their experiences. In addition, we take part in working groups of the city’s Department of Public Health to discuss the development of training groups for health services professionals, the conduction of epidemiological research, and the inclusion of this issue in the oficial agenda of prevention policies. With the project, we observed a constant increase in syringe demand by users; we tested 100+ individuals for HBV, HCV, syphilis, and/or HIV; and we offer in-person support to users, who in turn, support peers in their own social networks.
To our knowledge, this is the first project that jointly addresses direct HR practices, education, health services engagement, research, and advocacy.