Publications by authors named "Kerryn Drysdale"

7 Publications

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Stigma as understood by key informants: A social ecological approach to gay and bisexual men's use of crystal methamphetamine for sex.

Int J Drug Policy 2021 Mar 25;94:103229. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia.

This paper explores the perceptions of 35 key informants (KIs) in a range of relevant health and community sectors regarding the stigmatisation of GBM's crystal methamphetamine use and sexual practice with view to informing stigma reduction efforts. A modified social ecological model was used to guide analysis and interpretation. At the individual level, KI participants indicated that crystal methamphetamine was used by some GBM to reduce the effects of internalised stigma. At the network level, KIs thought that some drugs and types of use could attract more stigma and that this could erode support from GBM networks for men who use crystal. KIs felt that few "mainstream" organisations could provide appropriate services for GBM who use crystal and furthermore, that there was significant work to "undo" misperceptions of the harms of crystal use. At the policy level, mass media anti-drug campaigns were seen to be a significant generator of stigma with irrelevant and patronising messages that lacked useful information. Efforts to reduce stigma about crystal methamphetamine use amongst GBM must address individual, network, organisation and policy issues and be underpinned by understandings of social power in relation to sex, sexuality, drug use, infectious status and sexual minorities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103229DOI Listing
March 2021

Priorities and practices of risk reduction among gay and bisexual men in Australia who use crystal methamphetamine for sex.

Int J Drug Policy 2021 Feb 15;93:103163. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW, 2054, Australia.

Crystal methamphetamine (hereafter crystal) is associated with deleterious health outcomes, such as drug dependence and physical and mental health disorders. While some harms from crystal use can affect all users, there may be additional risks for people who combine the use of drug with sex. Compared with the broader population, gay and bisexual men in Australia report a higher prevalence of methamphetamine use, and crystal is the most commonly injected illicit drug among this population. The Crystal, Pleasures and Sex between Men research project was conducted between 2017 and 2019 and examined gay and bisexual men's crystal use in four capital cities in Australia, with the aim of identifying how to best support men who use crystal for sex. In this article, we examine how risk is understood and prioritised by gay and bisexual men who combine crystal use and sex and identify the range of risk reduction practices that they used. We classified these risks as those associated with the transmission of HIV, HCV and STIs, and those associated with dependence on either crystal or the sex it facilitated. Gay and bisexual men overwhelmingly prioritised the risk of dependence over any other risks associated with crystal-enhanced sex, and this prioritization was reflected in the risk reduction practices they employed. While some of the strategies that gay and bisexual men have adopted may contradict anticipated public health principles, they derive from a carefully considered and shared approaches to the generation of pleasure, the maintenance of a controlled form of feeling "out of control", and the negotiated reduction of risk. The consolidation of these strategies effectively constitutes a "counterpublic health" underpinned by forms of "sex-based sociality", which gives primacy to the priorities and practices of gay and bisexual men in Australia who combine crystal and sex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103163DOI Listing
February 2021

Targeting cancer prevention and screening interventions to LGBTQ communities: A scoping review.

Health Soc Care Community 2020 Dec 14. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Although some people within LGBTQ communities are at risk of developing some cancers at higher rates than non-LGBTQ people, there is limited evidence of the outcomes of targeted cancer prevention and screening interventions for these communities. This scoping review examined key findings regarding the feasibility, acceptability and efficacy of evaluated intervention studies conducted in high income settings and published in peer reviewed literature (2014-2020) by combining evidence of both cancer risk-reducing behavioural interventions and screening and preventative practice interventions. While there is limited evidence of stronger outcomes from targeted interventions with cohorts of gender and sexuality diverse communities, compared with the use of mainstream or untailored interventions, there is stronger evidence that targeted interventions are more acceptable to these communities and may be more feasible in some contexts. Thus, there is benefit in understanding what targeting entails in these interventions, and to understand what influences acceptability, to inform the design and delivery of such interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hsc.13257DOI Listing
December 2020

Destabilising the 'problem' of chemsex: Diversity in settings, relations and practices revealed in Australian gay and bisexual men's crystal methamphetamine use.

Int J Drug Policy 2020 04 14;78:102697. Epub 2020 Feb 14.

Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2054, Australia.

In Australia, the crystalline form of methamphetamine ("crystal") is a commonly used illicit substance associated with sexual activity among gay and bisexual men. Attention to psychoactive substance use among this population is the subject of increasing global concern regarding the intentional and simultaneous combination of sex and drugs, often referred to as "chemsex". While not all gay and bisexual men who use psychoactive substances report problematic use, those who do often become representative of chemsex practices more generally, and the harms they experience become attributable to all men who use drugs for sex. The way in which these practices have been framed over the past few decades contributes to the rise of a narrow set of understandings of chemsex defined by the circumstances and behaviours presumed of drug-enhanced sexual activity. In effect, these understandings now align recognisable combinations of sexual and drug-using practices with assumed correlates of risk. The Crystal, Pleasures and Sex between Men study conducted 88 interviews with gay and bisexual men in four Australian cities between 2017 and 2018. Findings from the project revealed that men used crystal in a variety of settings and relations, which mediated their sexual practices and patterns of use. In looking at the wider context in which practices were associated with the combination of sex and drugs, we identified experiences that the contemporary discourse of chemsex-in its rhetorical proposition of at-risk behaviours and circumstances-may leave out of consideration. Our findings indicate that researchers should remain open to the variability and contingency of settings, relations and practices in gay and bisexual men's different networks when recommending public health responses to their engagement in drug-enhanced sexual activity. Accordingly, we seek to destabilise the definition of chemsex that precludes consideration of the influence of experiences beyond pre-determined risk parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102697DOI Listing
April 2020

Mapping Experiences of Serodiscordance: Using Visual Methodologies to Construct Relationality in Families Living With or Affected by Stigmatized Infectious Disease.

Qual Health Res 2020 04 13;30(5):793-808. Epub 2019 Dec 13.

UNSW Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

The "my health, our family" research project was established to document stories of what serodiscordance (mixed infection status) means for Australian families affected by HIV, hepatitis B, and/or hepatitis C. A family mapping exercise was developed for the start of interviews as a way to conceptualize serodiscordance as a movement of "closeness" and "distance" within the relational networks that participants defined as "family," the outcome of which was originally intended as a guide to explore the contributions of each family member in the in-depth qualitative interviews that followed. Such static representations of family were soon revealed to be inadequate for capturing the contingent, flexible, and multifaceted nature of familial relationality in the management of these infections. In this article, we explore these shifts for the conceptual openness mapping methods facilitate, and the constraints they reveal, for spatializing family relations in ways that heed diverse experiences of serodiscordance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1049732319890304DOI Listing
April 2020

Gay Men's Relationship Agreements in the Era of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis: An Analysis of Australian Behavioural Surveillance Data.

AIDS Behav 2020 May;24(5):1389-1399

Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney, Level 2, John Goodsell Building, UNSW, Kensington, NSW, 2052, Australia.

Using repeated, cross-sectional behavioural surveillance data from Australia, we assessed trends in relationship agreements and casual sex among HIV-negative and untested gay and bisexual men who had regular partners during 2013-2018. We conducted three analyses: (i) trends in relationship agreements and casual sex over time; (ii) bivariate comparisons of PrEP users and non-PrEP-users to identify factors associated with PrEP use; and (iii) multivariate logistic regression to identify factors independently associated with PrEP use. The analysis of trends over time included 21,593 men, from which a sub-sample (n = 3764) was used to compare PrEP users and non-PrEP-users. We found a large increase in agreements that allowed condomless sex with casual partners, particularly by PrEP users in relationships (nearly 40% of whom had such an agreement). A further 34% of PrEP users reported having casual condomless sex without an agreement that permitted that behaviour, while 13% of non-PrEP-users also reported condomless sex with casual partners without an agreement. PrEP use was independently associated with having agreements permitting condomless sex with casual partners, recent condomless sex with casual partners, having greater numbers of male partners, recent post-exposure prophylaxis use, having an HIV-positive regular male partner, and recent condomless sex with regular male partners. Our findings show a shift away from relationship agreements in which condomless sex was only sanctioned between regular partners.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10461-019-02737-9DOI Listing
May 2020

The rush to risk when interrogating the relationship between methamphetamine use and sexual practice among gay and bisexual men.

Int J Drug Policy 2018 05 24;55:242-248. Epub 2017 Dec 24.

Centre for Social Research in Health University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. Electronic address:

Much research concerning drug use in the context of sexual activity among gay and bisexual men derives from public health scholarship. In this paper, we critically examine how the relationship between methamphetamine use and sexual risk practice is treated and understood in this body of research. While public health has made important contributions to establishing the link between methamphetamine use and sexual risk-taking, the precise nature of the relationship is not well defined. This creates space for ungrounded assumptions about methamphetamine use to take hold. We outline what appear to be two dominant interpretations of the methamphetamine/sexual practice relationship: the first proposes that methamphetamine has specific pharmacological properties which lead to sexual disinhibition, risky behaviour and poor health outcomes; the second proposes that methamphetamine attracts men who are already inclined toward highly sexualised interactions and risky practice, and that such men are likely to engage in these practices with or without drugs. We suggest that both interpretations are problematic in that they individualise and cast drug and sex practices as inherently risky and biopsychologically determined. We outline a more historically, socially and politically engaged way to understand methamphetamine use in the context of sexual activity by drawing on the concept of sex-based sociality and the ways in which gay and bisexual men may use methamphetamine and sex as social resources around which to build identities, establish relationships, participate in gay communities, and maximise pleasure while protecting themselves and others from harm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.12.010DOI Listing
May 2018