New figures show that gay men are over three times more likely to use drugs than other Londoners. While 11.2% of LondonÃs population has tried drugs in the last year, the figure jumps to 37.2% for gay and bi men. Alcohol was the most frequently used drug amongst gay men, followed by poppers, marijuana, ecstasy, Viagra and cocaine. Taking drugs and drinking alcohol have both been linked with a greater likelihood of unprotected sex, so GMFA have launched a new ad campaign which helps men plan for safer sex if they're taking drugs or drinking alcohol, and carries details of support and advice services for men who are having problems with their drug or alcohol use.
"Drugs and alcohol can lower inhibitions and affect your judgment," said Matthew Hodson, Head of programmes for GMFA. "Men do things when theyÃre drunk or on drugs that they wouldnÃt normally do, and which they know are risky. Planning for safer sex makes it less likely that youÃll end up regretting the decisions you make whilst under the influence ... Although taking drugs can play a role in HIV transmission, they are not the cause of HIV. Whether you take drugs or not, safer sex is the best way to reduce the risks."