Binge drug-taking in London’s gay party scene is fuelling a surge in HIV infections, according to an article in the Lancet medical journal.
Figures show a rise of 21% in HIV infections among men who have sex with men in London between 2011 and 2012. Numbers have risen from 1,420 to 1,720. That is against a drop in the rest of the country of 4%.
But, say the authors, Tony Kirby and Michelle Thornber-Dunwell, the percentage increase in the capital may be greater still, because Public Health England which collects the figures adjusts them later – and the 2011 figure has recently risen from 1,296 to 1,420.
The authors attribute the steep rise in HIV in the gay community to risk-taking behaviour at drug-taking parties.
In an earlier report, they described the use of crystal meth "at post-club parties known as chill-outs where drug-taking continues until drugs, money, energy, or all three run out". They added: "There are also many sex parties where MSM [men who have sex with men] congregate at homes for group sex."
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