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ID: HR23-90
Presenting author: Ben Collins

Presenting author biography:

Ben Is a community organiser, networker and convener; director at ReShape, co-founder of the Chemsex Forum; EATG board member, EuroTEST steering committee member, European Testing Week working group chair, scientific committee member for EACS’ WAVE, and collaborator/partner with SHE. He is neurodiverse, HIV+ (1982), U=U (1998), and a chemsex veteran/responder.

Building solidarity and integrated Chemsex/High Fun/PnP services in your locale/regionIntegrated services for chemsex

Ben Collins, Georges Azzi, Yasir Ali Khan, Magdalena Ankiersztejn-Bartczak, Tùng Đoàn Thanh Doan

Workshop content

Injectors in Mainline’s 2021 slamming research identified integrated chemsex services as essential. Globally, chemsex response from a circumscribed HIV (sexual practices) or a drug approach (abstinence or harm reduction) can miss the complexity of chemsex and intersecting issues. Pre-chemsex mental health, trauma and social determinants, or chemsex-related social loneliness, stigma, discrimination and criminalisation can be missed.

Successful projects – Asia, Canada, France, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, The Netherlands, Ukraine, UK, US and Vietnam – yet integrated services are too few.

This workshop will be a harmonized platform linking people working on Chemsex from different countries, regions and backgrounds. It will highlight the strengths and learnings from existing projects. It will encourage solidarity, knowledge and experience sharing, and networking amongst participants for smarter integration in services addressing the needs and hopes of people engaging in and/or recovering from chemsex.

Learning objectives

The lack of proper response to chemsex is mostly due to the lack of knowledge of and research on the issue. In this workshop, we will review chemsex research methodologies, outreach strategies, effective services and successful campaigns. We will also explore the elements of successful integrated services in chemsex response that are culturally and regionally appropriate. Participants will learn about and address different social issues related to chemsex such as trauma, criminality, self-stigma and intra-community stress.

Expected outcomes

Through this workshop, we anticipate that participants will be able to better understand the issue of chemsex and identify methodologies and strategies that can be adapted to their own context. In addition to the learning experience, the workshop will be a space for organizations and individuals from across the world to network and explore partnership opportunities. Our ultimate goal is to create an international platform of activists and individuals who will collaborate to improve the response to the chemsex issue.