Changes in substance use among HIV-negative MSM: A longitudinal analysis, 1995-2019: A longitudinal analysis, 1995-2019

B.C. Kelly, L. Coyer, S.A. Mustillo, M. Prins, U. Davidovich

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Background Research suggests shifting patterns of recreational drug consumption among MSM in recent decades. The present study evaluates population-level mean trajectories of substance use among HIV-negative MSM from 1995 to 2019. Methods Using open cohort study data following MSM in the Netherlands (n=1495) since 1995, we applied generalized estimating equations to examine population-averaged estimates of five substances – alcohol, cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, and poppers – from 1995 to 2019, as well as their use during sexual encounters. Results Recent alcohol use decreased; predicted probabilities declined from 1995 to 2019 (.96 to .87). During the same period, cocaine and poppers use increased – (.10 to .23 and .37 to .47, respectively) and use during sex also increased (.05 to .16, and .32 to .41, respectively). Ecstasy use increased over time (.23 to .38), although not during sex. No significant changes in cannabis use occurred. Conclusions While changes in use of various substances were mixed, increases in cocaine and poppers use during sexual encounters occurred among HIV-negative MSM over time. Efforts to intervene on substance use in connection with sex remain critical for health promotion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103748
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Early online date29 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Cohort Studies
  • Drugs
  • HIV Infections/epidemiology
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • MSM
  • Male
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine
  • Risk
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities
  • Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Trends

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