In a new study published being published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and epublished online by the National Institute of Health, men who consume cannabis and no other drugs were found to have less sexually transmitted infections.
“Among men who have sex with men (MSM) the relationship between sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and cannabis use is not well established”, states the study’s abstract. With this in mind, reseachers “assessed cannabis use, sexual behavior, and STIs including HIV in a diverse cohort of young MSM.”
For the study researchers “conducted visits every 6 months with 512 MSM between 2014 and 2017 collecting demographics, sexual behaviors, and reports of frequency of substance use. Each visit conducted testing for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis via blood, urine, and pharyngeal and rectal swabs by PCR, HIV was assessed using rapid tests for HIV negatives and viral load for HIV positives.” Researchers “analyzed the relationship between cannabis use, sexual behaviors and STIs/HIV across 1,535 visits.”
It was found that “Significantly fewer participants tested positive for STIs at visits when reporting the previous 6 months use of only cannabis(11.7%) compared to no drugs (16.3%) or other drugs (20.0%).” In addition, “Fewer MSM reporting only cannabis use than no or other drug use had been incarcerated, had incarcerated partners, experienced interpersonal violence, and were HIV positive.”
Researchers conclude that “When MSM reported using cannabis exclusively fewer STIs were detected and lower risk sexual engagements reported than when MSM reported no drug or other drug use.”
For the full study, conducted by researchers at the University of California Los Angeles and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, click here.