Institute for Global Health


Locally grounded, transnationally queer

Locally grounded, transnationally queer: understanding hi-fun and other sexualized drug use cultures and support strategies for men who have sex with men in Thailand.

Sexualised drug use (SDU) refers to using drugs before/during sex. 'Hi-fun' in Thailand ('chemsex' in Western settings) is the intentional use of specific substances (for example, methamphetamine, GHB/GBL) to prolong sex with multiple partners. Men who have sex with men's (MSM) sexualised drug use is a global public health concern because of potential negative impacts on wellbeing, mental and sexual health.

MSM sexualised drug use is increasingly visible in Thailand, where unique sociocultural/political environments shape sexual cultures and harms. Research investigating the diversity of sexualised drug use practices, who experiences which harms and which groups might benefit from support is urgently required.

Through systematic mapping, qualitative research, longitudinal surveys and co-production workshops, this interdisciplinary multi-method research will transform understandings of how social and economic forces shape sexualised drug use cultures and co-develop innovative support strategies for men who have sex with men engaged in sexualised drug use in Thailand.


Pilot research: Witzel TC, Charoenyang M, Bourne A, Guadamuz TE. Hi-fun among men who have sex with men in Bangkok: A scoping study exploring key informants’ perspectives on hi-fun contexts, harms and support strategies. PLOS Global Public Health. 2023 Aug 25;3(8):e0002295.