When you can’t stop the parTy: the Syndemic of HIV & Chemsex

June 3, 2022 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
National Alliance for HIV Education and Workforce Development

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This session is part of NAHEWD’s national webinar series Bridging HIV and SUD: Innovations in the Field. The series will highlight various innovative models and approaches to treating substance use disorder (SUD) in people at risk for and living with HIV.

Chemsex, or the phenomenon of sexualized drug use, is a concern for providers caring for people living with HIV and those at risk. While Chemsex is not a new phenomenon, the recent uptick in contaminated drug supply, COVID-19 retention in care challenges, and the promotion of geosocial networking apps have created new challenges for HIV care providers. By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

1. Define the phenomenon of Chemsex and syndemic HIV.
2. Name at least 3 substances commonly used in the setting of Chemsex.
3. Identify at least 2 harm reduction strategies to employ when caring for patients engaging in Chemsex.
4. Recognize at least 2 evidence-based treatments for patients engaging in Chemsex.



Justin Alves, RN, MSN, ACRN, CARN, CNE
Addiction Nurse Educator @Boston Medical Center
Justin is a Clinical Nurse Educator for Boston Medical Center’s OBAT TTA team, with specific expertise in infectious disease and their co-occurrence with substance use disorders, community outreach, and harm reduction. Justin has dedicated his career to caring for patients living with HIV/AIDS and suffering from substance use disorders across the continuum of care. He is an AIDS Certified Registered Nurse, a Certified Addictions Registered Nurse, and a member of the Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau. Justin received his BSN from Northeastern University in 2013 and received his MSN, with a focus in nursing education, from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth in 2020.