Barcelona 2013
Barcelona 2013
Abstract book - Abstract - 343
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Conference Details
International Committee
Plenary Speakers
Presenting Speakers
Scientific Committee
Abstract #343  -  Theory and Overview
  14.3: Theory and Overview (Parallel) on Monday @ 14.30-16.00 in Raval Chaired by Richard Harding,
Sheana Bull

  Presenting Author:   Dr. Daniela Rojas Castro - AIDES, France
  Additional Authors:   
In 2011, the emergence of ?slam?, designating drug injection among gay men in a sexual context was taken up by health stakeholders. As slam is rarely documented, a qualitative research was carried out by AIDES, a French HIV/Aids community-based association, in collaboration with other health institutions (Sidaction, the gay doctors association and the Health and medical research national institute). The objective was to take stock of this phenomenon regarding definitions, products used, effects, connection with sexuality, harm reduction strategies implemented as well as prevention and medical needs as declared by slam practitioners.
Method / Issue:
In 2012, a multidisciplinary team (an anthropologist, two sociologists, a dermato-venereologist, a health psychologist and an ?insider?) conducted a rapid assessment process (RAP). This ethnographic approach insists on the role of the insider, a gay man practicing slam, who ensures the appropriateness of questions and facilitates the rapport researchers-interviewees. The team worked collectively during the whole process (constructing the interview guide, conducting the interviews, analysis and report writing). 23 people from different cities of France were interviewed; 17 current and ex- ?slammers? and 6 key informants (clinicians, addictologists and members of NGOs) having an expertise on drug use and gay sexuality.
Results / Comments:
Slam was defined as the injection of products (méphédrone and derivatives, crystal, cocaine) in a sexual context. This sexual context does usually involve two or more people. Most people slamming were HIV+, variable ages (25-59), practicing hard sex (e.g. fisting) and were employed. Physical and psychological complications (including addiction) were observed in some of them. Some strategies, like not learning to inject themselves were implemented in order to better control the drug use. They declared not attending specialized services because they do not identify as ?typical injecting drug users?. As a matter of fact, this was one of the main barriers to have a more ease access to materials and preventive information, not only because the refuse to ask for help in specialized services but also because HIV practitioners do not perceive their ?gay? patients as potential ?drug users?. Interviewees asked for physicians to be at least informed about slam and drug consumption in general, in order to ensure a more effective linkage to care if needed (including just thinking of asking about drug consumption). Finally, even the large already existing evidence about the relationship among sex and drug use, a lack of preventive actions and discourses considering both behaviors became manifest.
Although qualitative research regarding injecting drug use among gay men is scarce, it is a rich source of information about this phenomenon and can help develop adequate and appropriate political, institutional and associative responses.
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