Sri Lanka has been through many storms in recent months with the economic crisis, political crisis, a change in leadership, protests, a rise in HIV and now the latest to hit the country’s youth – a rise in the dangerous chemical sex, especially among Colombo youth.
The National STD and AIDS Control Program Director Dr. Rasanjali Hettiarachchi told Daily Mirror that chemical sex among youth aged from 18 to 30 years had seen an increase and although this form of dangerous sex was being practised before, it had now seen an increase with the usage of ICE drugs.
With the increasing use of alcohol and certain drugs, chemical sex, more popularly known as chemsex has now started trending in the country raising the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
“Chemsex is also very often practised between men (MSM: Men who have Sex with Men) who engaged in sex after intoxication,” Dr.Rasanjali said.
Chemsex is defined as using certain substances immediately before or during sexual activities to facilitate, prolong, and/or intensify the sexual experience, mainly by some communities of men who have sex with men (MSM).
Dr. Hettiarachchi said that many youth groups also engage in this kind of sexual behaviour, especially within Colombo. Those groups who use drugs such as methamphetamine (ice) for their intoxication engage in chemsex, not knowing its dangers. Most of the groups are located in the Western Province and in the Gampaha district.
Medical sources said that four substances such as methamphetamine (ICE), mephedrone, and ketamine were typically associated with chemsex and since ICE was available among drug dealers, there was an increase in usage among the youth who thereafter engaged in sexual behaviour.
“There are groups in Colombo who have sex after taking drugs, and therefore there is an increase in spreading chemsex in Colombo,” Dr.Hettiarachchi said.
Sources said that Chemsex which had now become a cause of concern may also be one of the reasons why there is an increase in HIV today. There is also an increase in sexually transmitted infections (STI) such as gonorrhoea and syphilis among the youth, sources said.
Dr. Hettiarachchi said that patients who came to them for treatment often did not reveal how they became infected with such a disease. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)