Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 337 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 2-Dec-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 3-Dec-2004
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Recreational Viagra, illicit drug use relatively common among gay men

"Recreational" Viagra (sildenafil) combined with illicit drug use is relatively common among gay men, finds a study in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Researchers surveyed 164 gay men at a popular sex resort in the southern United States about their use of non-prescription Viagra.

The drug has become popular among men who have sex with men because of its capacity to heighten pleasure and prolong sex.

Nine out of 10 of the men approached completed the questionnaire. Their average age was 40.

One in six of the men said they used Viagra recreationally. Although use of recreational Viagra was not associated with unsafe sexual practices, use of illegal drugs was significantly higher among men using non-prescription Viagra.

Recreational Viagra use was almost three times as high among men taking ecstasy during sex as among those who did not.

Similar patters were seen for cocaine use. Almost four out of 10 of those saying they used cocaine, reported that they also used Viagra. This compares with a figure of 13% for those men who did not use cocaine.

Use of Viagra was not dictated by age, income, or HIV status, say the authors. But because of its capacity to prolong sex, and therefore abrasions, it risks increasing the chances of passing on sexually transmitted infections, they say.

And there could also be potentially fatal interactions with other illicit drugs, they add.

[Use of recreational Viagra among men having sex with men Sex Transm Infect 2004; 80: 466-8]

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