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Subst Use Misuse. 2011;46(12):1510-22. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2011.572329. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

Drug use as boundary play: a qualitative exploration of gay circuit parties.

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  • 1School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Research findings have revealed that gay circuit parties may be locations that are disproportionately responsible for the increasing rates of many STIs/HIV among gay/bisexual men. Theories have been put forth that this may be the case because circuit parties are locales of prevalent drug use and unsafe sex. To explore the relationship between these two phenomena, in-depth qualitative interviews were undertaken with 17 men who (1) have sex with other men, (2) attended gay circuit parties in Montréal, Canada, in 2007. These revealed that drugs (including alcohol) were used intentionally to engage in unsafe sex, and then to justify this behavior after the fact. This process we called boundary play.

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