The effects of methamphetamine use on the sexual lives of gender and sexually diverse people in Dhaka, Bangladesh: A qualitative study

Sharful Islam Khan, Mohammad Niaz Morshed Khan, Samira Dishti Irfan, A. M. Rumayan Hasan, Allen G. Ross, Lily Ming Sha Horng, Nathan Lachowsky, Gail Knudson, Tasnim Azim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Methamphetamine use has increased among gender and sexually diverse people in several countries, including Bangladesh. This study aimed to explore the effects of methamphetamine on the sexual lives of these people in Dhaka, Bangladesh. An exploratory qualitative study was conducted, comprising 30 in-depth interviews with gender and sexually diverse people including males having sex with males, male sex workers, and transgender women (hijra) under HIV intervention coverage. Ten key informant interviews were also conducted with individuals who have expertise in relevant disciplines such as drug use, harm reduction, and HIV and AIDS. Digitally recorded data were manually analyzed under the thematic analysis framework. Findings indicated that many participants reported that methamphetamine brought changes in their sexual lives such as increased sexual drive, engagement in group sex, the increased ability to perform serial sex, transactional sex, impulsive and coercive sex, initiation and switching of male-to-male sexual practices, and limited condom use. Key informants noted that there is a dearth of methamphetamine-related services in Bangladesh. Methamphetamine use was found to lead to diverse effects on the sexual lives of gender and sexually diverse people, thus making it a driving force for shaping sexual practices and, hence, sexual risks. Therefore, it is essential for policy-level stakeholders and program managers to consider the risks of methamphetamine use due to their negative ramifications on sexual health, including HIV risks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-493
Number of pages15
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume50
Early online date01 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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