One drug that research has linked to getting HIV is poppers. It’s thought that this is because they open blood vessels inside the arse making easier for HIV to get into the body, especially if there is bleeding during anal sex. Also, men who use poppers might be more likely to have rougher, longer sex sessions, again causing bleeding that would make it easier for HIV to be passed on. Some researchers believe poppers can weaken the immune system for a few days and so make people more vulnerable to picking up HIV during unprotected anal sex. Check our poppers section for more details.
Minute amounts of blood can pass from one person to another when, during group sex scenes, injecting equipment including swabs, needles, filters, water, or drug supply are shared. A container of drugs can easily get contaminated with someone’s infected blood too. All of which can lead to the spread of HIV and hepatitis C. Always put out condoms, lube and latex gloves close to where the action will be. In group scenes tiny amounts of HIV or Hep C-infected blood can be passed from arse to arse on toys, dicks and hands even if covered with a condom or glove. The following cut that risk:
Sex on drugs, especially amphetamines and alcohol, often makes it harder or impossible to come - or to get or stay hard. Erection difficulties are less of a problem since drugs like Viagra arrived. But taking Viagra or other erection drugs with some street drugs is risky as they all put added pressure on the heart. This can be especially true of taking erection drugs with poppers or ‘uppers’ like crystal meth, speed, or E containing speed. This effect can be made even stronger if you’re taking some HIV medications. Heavy use of some recreational drugs can lead to the long term loss of sex drive and the ability to get it up.
Taking too much of anything can take away your ability to consent to sex. Being out of it can end in injuries from sex that goes too far, sexual assault, robbery or getting HIV. This is especially true with drugs such as GHB and Ketamine, both of which can knock you out. If you’re HIV negative and are sexually assaulted (or think you might have been), consider Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) – it could stop you becoming HIV positive. For more details see www.tht.org.uk/pep.
It’s not unheard of for people to have their drinks spiked and then be sexually assaulted. In bars and clubs don’t leave drinks, including non-alcoholic drinks, unattended and be wary of accepting drinks from strangers unless you see the barman pour them. Bottled or canned drinks are harder to tamper with. If you think your drink has been moved, topped up or if it tastes odd, don’t risk drinking it. It’s not just in bars and clubs that drinks can be spiked – it can happen in homes and at parties. If you start to feel odd you have less than 20 minutes to get help (from a friend, bar staff, the police or medics) or get yourself to a safe place.
This article was last reviewed on: 28/10/11
Date due for next review: 28/10/13