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Acute street drug poisoning in the patient with human immunodeficiency virus infection: the role of chemsex

Perelló R, Aused M, Saubí N, Quirós C, Blanco JL, Martínez-Rebollar M, Galicia M, Salgado E, Nogué S

Área de Urgencias, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain. Servicio de Infecciones, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain.

Objective. To identify the drugs usually abused in cases of acute poisoning in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
infected patients.
Methods. Retrospective study of episodes of acute street drug poisoning in HIV-infected patients in our emergency department over a period of 1 year. Chemsex was defined as the use of methamphetamines, ????-hydroxybutyrate
(GHB), ????-butyrolactone (GBL), and/or mephedrone in order to prolong sexual activity.
Results. We included 101 patients, 93 (92%) of whom were men. The drug that caused the most cases of acute poisoning was cocaine, detected in 52 patients (51%). GHB and amphetamines were the next most frequently implicated street drugs. The prevalence of chemsex in this series was 87%. Mortality was 2%. Amphetamine poisoning was related to intensive care unit admission (odds ratio, 9,2 [95% CI, 1.6–52.2], P=.012).
Conclusion. Cocaine use was the main cause of acute poisoning in this series. The prevalence of chemsex was high.

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