Accounting for Chemsex: Danish Chemsex Users’ Accounts of their Chemsex Engagement – Findings from a Qualitative Study

Chemsex is a term used by gay men to describe drug use (typically GHB/GBL, crystal methamphetamine and mephedrone) during sex. This research is based on interactionist theory and describes the personal and social context for chemsex in Denmark and analyses the accounts of MSM who regularly engage in chemsex. Inspired by Scott and Lyman’s “Accounts” and Erving Goffman (“Face-work”), the study aims to uncover the chemsex aetiologies used by the participants.


Accounting for Chemsex: Danish Chemsex Users’ Accounts of their Chemsex Engagement – Findings from a Qualitative Study

WHO: HIV-infected should start treatment earlier

It is estimated that 5.2 million people worldwide are now receiving treatment for AIDS (ARVs) that could save their lives.

But more lives can be saved and the infection rate reduced if treatment start earlier according to the World Health Organisation WHO.

Compared to the total number of HIV-infected. assumed to be at least 33 million, the 5.2 million is far from enough. But it is 12 times as many as in 2003, when WHO launched a special effort against HIV. In 2008 there were 4 million infected in ARV treatment.

WHO now recommends that treatment is started even before the immune system is weakened and HIV develops into AIDS.

” An earlier treatment allows people to live healthier and longer with HIV,” said Dr. Gottfried Hirnschall, Head of WHO’s program on HIV / AIDS.

According to WHO, it would be possible to reduce AIDS mortality by 20 percent between 2010 and 2015 if these guidelines for early intervention is implemented.

Early treatment will also make it possible to prevent many infections, including tuberculosis (TB), which is the leading cause of deaths among people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA).

According to WHO deaths from TB can be reduced by as much as 90 percent if people with both HIV and TB gets treatment earlier.

‘In addition to saving lives, the earlier treatment also helps in terms of prevention. The treatment reduces the level of virus in the organism, and this means that HIV-positive people are less likely to infect their partners with the virus.

WHO guidelines will expand the number of people who should be on ARVs from 10 to 15 million.

The AIDS epidemic was discovered in 1980/81. In the first 14 to 15 years there was no effective treatment and an AIDS diagnosis was basically equal to a death sentence.

The big breakthrough in the fight against HIV and AIDS came with the introduction of combination therapies (ARVs) in the mid-1990s. Several different drugs used simultaneously were found to have a good effect.

The change was so great that AIDS in large parts of the western world was transformed from a deadly disease to a life-long infection.

But the HIV treatment is expensive and it requires both money and a relatively well-organized health system to establish and maintain lifelong treatments against HIV and AIDS.

It is still my hope that one day ARVs will be available to everyone who needs it.

Copenhagen stops supporting counseling for HIV-infected in 2011

Currently the 18th International AIDS Conference is taking place in Vienna. The conference was opened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who praised the progress made in the fight against the disease.

He stressed, however, that it remains important to continue the fight and prioritize efforts. If the international community chooses to spend less money on the fight against AIDS, there is “a risk that we have reversed the progress of a recession,” said Ban Ki-moon as a comment to that one result of the global financial crisis is that some governments now choose to spend less money on the fight against AIDS than ever before.

But you don’t have to look out into the world to see that there is less money spent on combating the spread of HIV and AIDS. We can just look at Denmark and the capital Copenhagen which has already budgeted less money in this area.

Copenhagen Municipality health and care Committee has decided to entirely abandon the continued support for counseling for HIV-infected and their families (400,000 DKK in 2010) from 2011 – an advisory work performed HIV-Denmark.

This decision is completely counteracting a study from 2009 which shows that Denmark and Copenhagen in particular has had particular success in preventing a massive increase in the number of newly infected due to the personal counseling of the people potentially infected with HIV.

However, it is said that the politicians in Copenhagen in 2011 will continue to support distribution of free condoms. But seriously, I work within the field of HIV/AIDS and I have never noticed free distribution of condoms in Copenhagen and even if they exists it is the personal counseling of HIV that causes us/reminds us to use a condom.

I urge the politicians in Copenhagen to eradicate its decision on HIV-Danmark’s 2011 counseling work. The health of our people is a stake. Do you care?

HIV and AIDS in numbers

In 2008 two million people died worldwide of AIDS. It’s more than 166,000 men, women and children a month. Or 5479 deaths every day.

The UN estimates that 2.7 million people became infected with HIV in 2008. This corresponds to 225,000 every month – or nearly 7,400 new infections every day or just over five every minute.

Worldwide 33.4 million people are infected with HIV. That’s why I still work in this field!

Ugandan HIV-activists face life in prison for handing out flyers

women kissing

I don’t consider myself a lesbian, but I am a humanist (and an HIV-activist) and I was utterly shocked when I read today that three homosexual HIV-activists had been arrested in Uganda and may be facing a sentence of life in prison.

For what crime you may ask? The answer is to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS and thereby save human lives!

The three activists (two women and one man) had sneaked into a global AIDS-conference and were handing out flyers about homosexual’s rights to HIV-prevention such as "Homosexuals in Uganda also need protection against HIV" and "From 1983 until 2008 the expenditure for HIV-prevention for homosexuals in Uganda was nil shillings".

In Uganda this activity (handing out flyers) is considered "promotion of homosexuality" according to the Ugandan police chief. And homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and even an attempt to engage in a homosexual act is punished with up to seven years in prison. In my opinion this is absolutely appalling. How can a country dictate who you love and show your affection to? And how can they potentially send people to prison for advocating for HIV-protection and human rights?

According to the International Gay and Lesbian Association it is forbidden to be homosexual in 38 African countries.

The AIDS-conference in Uganda was arranged by the UN, USA and the World Bank. There were 1.700 participants from 70 countries.

Oxfam: Susie Smith Memorial Prize for a piece of published work in the field of HIV and AIDS

Oxfam Great Britain is awarding the Susie Smith Memorial Prize for a piece of published work in the field of HIV and AIDS. The Susie Smith memorial prize of £3000 will be awarded to an already published piece of work on HIV and AIDS from sub-Saharan Africa. Any type of piece – (e.g. poetry, fiction, article, chapter of a book) – of up to 10,000 words, in English, and published since January 2006, will be eligible.

The judges will focus on two key elements: quality of the piece itself (writing, analysis, insights) evidence of impact of the writing in the media and/or with people, governments or other institutions. All submissions must be received by 31 January 2008. You should include a cover letter outlining what kind of impact the piece has had and/or what it has achieved.

A shortlist of five will be published on Oxfam’s website in early April 2008 and the winner will be announced at the end of April 2008. They will notify who has made it through to the shortlist, but will be unable to advise any other applicants of the panel’s decision.

All submissions and cover letter should be sent to: Susie Smith Memorial Prize Submission Oxfam Great Britain Oxfam House John Smith Drive Oxford OX4 2JY Or emailed to: . Oxfam regrets that posted submissions will not be returned. For further information, please visit the website: or contact Oxfam directly at

Good luck with your writing.