Gay Men Using Viagra Recreationally

Study: Practice may raise risk of STDs, fatal drug interactions

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THURSDAY, Dec. 2, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The use of "recreational" Viagra in combination with illegal drugs is common among gay men, says a study in the most recent issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections.

This practice could increase the risk of passing on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and potentially fatal drug interactions.

Researchers surveyed 164 gay men, average age 40, at a popular sex resort in the southern United States. The men were asked about their use of nonprescription (recreational) Viagra and illegal drugs.

One in six of the men said they used Viagra recreationally. Men who used recreational Viagra were much more likely to use illegal drugs. The use of recreational Viagra was nearly three times higher among men who took the drug ecstasy during sex than among men who didn't use ecstasy.

Nearly 40 percent of the men who said they used cocaine also said they used recreational Viagra, compared to 13 percent of men who didn't use cocaine.

Age, income, or HIV status did not influence the use of Viagra.

Viagra's capacity to prolong sex leads to increased risk of abrasions and, therefore, greater risk of passing on sexually transmitted diseases, the study authors said. They also noted the potential for dangerous drug interactions.

More information

The American Medical Association has more about preventing sexually transmitted diseases.

SOURCE: Sexually Transmitted Infections, news release, Dec. 2, 2004

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