Chemsex

An illustrated leaflet commissioned by Aides to teach the right behavior when using Chemsex drugs.

For a few years, Aides (the oldest and most important HIV-fighting non-profit organization in France) noticed the raise of the “Chemsex”, which consists in using psychoactive substancex during the sex act. Those drugs (Cathinone, Methamphetamine, GHB, etc.) can increase the pleasure, be more performant, and to free inhibitions. While more and more people are getting into it, this behavior leads to a lot of dark consequences: addiction, hallucinations, depression… And the drug using, when injected, exposes 3 times more the user to the HIV and 15 times to the HCV.

Since the number of gay users is constantly increasing and spreading in the whole country, Aides chose to start some local actions on the field: saunas, private events… They even offered a phone number and a WhatsApp account to answer to all the users’ questions, and a Facebook group, that is the place for discussion and mutual support. To get along this process, they asked me to design a document to explain the right way to use Chemsex drugs.

We designed an illustrated leaflet that represents a stylish and cosy flat, where a party is taking place. We can notice the presence of people by the items placed on the furniture and in the different rooms. The room upstairs, called the Sex-Room, is the room for all sexual activities. The room for drugs using (especially injected), which we named the Chems-Room, is regrouped in the kitchen and the bathroom. All of the items have small annotations that explain how to use this specific item properly, to avoid the risks of exposure of any virus. We also cared to set up a quiet room, where the hosts can have a rest, hydrate themselves, have a talk and cool down: it’s the Chill-Out space. In this room we can also contemplate a nice painting by the gay artist Joff.