Saturday, September 24

What is ‘chemsex’ and how does it relate to monkeypox?


The ‘chemsex’ parties have been on the lips of hundreds of Spaniards for days, especially on social networks, who wonder what they consist of and what they have to do with this simian pox

The latest information indicates that Spain has already registered 55 possible cases of monkeypox and 34 confirmed cases. This new virus, which we heard about for the first time on May 7, is a rare viral zoonosis (disease caused by a virus transmitted from animals to people) that produces symptoms similar to those observed in smallpox patients. in the past. Now it has been discovered that the practice of ‘chemsex’ could be closely related to several of the suspected outbreaks detected in our country.

The virus does not spread easily between people and the risk to the population appears low. However, the most recent cases detected in the United Kingdom “are found in homosexual and bisexual communities,” the United Kingdom Health Security Agency has reported, which was the one who sounded the alarm announcing the contagion of a citizen who had traveled to Nigeria recently.

The new disease that has already arrived in Spain has symptoms similar to chickenpox and secondary syphilis. The first symptoms are usually fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, fatigue… Lesions may also appear on the mucous membranes of the mouth and rashes on the face and other areas of the body.

Two of the largest outbreaks of monkeypox in our country have been recorded in Madrid and the Canary Islands. The Community of Madrid, the most affected so far, associated one of the virus outbreaks with a sauna this Thursday, according to the tracking carried out by the General Directorate of Public Health of the Ministry. They emphasize that “so far, a high percentage of these cases are men who have had sex in risky sexual contexts”, although they stress that “its transmission to other population groups cannot be excluded”.

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What is chemsex?

Dangerous sexual practices are fashionable. Orgies in which, for example, ecstasy and mephedrone are mixed with viagra to last several days, are a clear example and are known as ‘chemsex’. They triumph above all in Madrid, where they are related to the monkeypox outbreak. The noun ‘sexdopaje’, Fundeu points out, is a valid alternative in Spanish to the anglicized ‘chemsex’. It is a practice that consists of the use of drugs during sexual intercourse. Its relationship with monkeypox stems from various parties in which the use of this practice is directly related to various possible infections.

The community of Madrid ensures the profile of those infected is of men with an average age of 35 years who maintained risky sexual practices and “in some groups they participated in ‘chemsex’ sessions and private parties,” according to Elena Andradas, director of Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Madrid.

The practice of ‘chemsex’ is clearly associated with risk behaviors. For example, to flirt in certain applications in which parties like these are organized, they usually ask, before meeting, if you are “apelero”, that is, if “you do it bareback or without a condom”, says a user of these platforms . It is the game of reaching the limit in these clandestine parties.


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