One in ten injectors of anabolic steroids have exposed themselves to blood-borne viruses, almost half snort cocaine and 80 per cent have unprotected sex.
Public Health England (PHE) and Liverpool John Moores University surveyed 395 men using image and performance enhancing drugs. They found that one in 18 had been exposed to hepatitis C, one in 11 had been exposed to hepatitis B, and one in 65 have HIV.
Dr Vivian Hope, a PHE expert in infections among people who inject drugs, said: “While we must be cautious in generalising these early findings, they are concerning and show that further research is required.”
The survey also showed a far higher than average use of psychoactive drugs. 46 per cent of surveyed steroid users claimed to have snorted cocaine in the previous 12 months. According to DrugScope, just 2.2 per cent of Britons claim to have ever taken powder cocaine.
According to the survey, steroid injectors are also twice as likely to have unprotected sex than the national average. The European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health found that 43 per cent of Britons admitted to having had unprotected sex with a new partner. In contrast, 80 per cent of steroid users surveyed had practised unprotected sex in the previous 12 months.