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Drunk And Dangerous - How Free Condoms Save Youngsters From The Promiscuity Of Booze

By Michelle Duffy     Dec 17, 2007 in Health
To cut down on the growing cases every year of unwanted pregnancies as well as sexual infections including AIDS, a UK University has called for free contraception to be given away in pubs, clubs and taxis
According to a new report out this week from the University of Southampton in the UK, research has found that the number of unwanted pregnancies and STD's is growing dramatically every year amongst young people and particularly those who meet in pubs and clubs which invariably end up as one night stands.
Experts have decided that the best way to promote safe sex between both homosexual and heterosexual adults is to give away free condoms in the areas where attractions are mostly likely to occur.
The University has found that sexual attractions are also higher when around places which serve alcohol, making people feel more promiscuous - as if we needed reminding. It rather makes us find it strange that no one has thought of this sooner.
According to the study, the University focused on a poll of 520 young people who visited a sexual health clinic as some stage and found that around 76% admitted to having unprotected sex when under the influence of alcohol.
Also found was the number of those who already had sexual infections - alarmingly these were the most promiscuous and drinking 40% more than everyone else, on average.
Sadly, out those used in the study, only a small 6% said they used a condom all the time when meeting some one new.
Speaking on behalf of the UK leading young adults sexual health clinic, Brook Advisory Centre, someone said,
"Widening access in this way is a good idea, but it also needs to be twinned with giving people the confidence to say no to sex and waiting."
The numbers of those contracting sexual infections has been on the rise since the early 1990's despite massive financial inputs into advertising by the government, and as already thought, it is the younger section of the community, the 16 to 24 year olds who are most at risk from catching infections through unprotected sex with new partners.
According to figures gathered from new cases last year in the UK, the figure has now risen to 376,508 in England alone.
Yet the study is urging the government to take more responsibility for the health of young adults forcing more focus onto promoting safer sex, especially where alcohol is concerned.
Co writing the report was Linda Tucker. She said,
"The link between sexual risk and drinking too much alcohol is not the most original idea in the world, but we now have clear scientific evidence of the relationship. The government needs to reflect this link both in their sexual health and alcohol strategy - which at present seems not to link alcohol and sexual risk behaviour. Politicians need to tackle the issue of cheap booze and to have properly funded early intervention and treatment programmes in place."
Yet the report seems to move quite clearly towards the idea that youngsters would practice safer sex if they could access condoms in certain areas and particularly if they were free. Professor Wallace Dinsmore, editor of the Journal told BBC News Website,
"The young people interviewed in this study frequently said that better access to condoms at the time and place they were needed would have enabled them to practise safer sex. Young people can get free condoms from their GPs, family planning and GU [sexual health] clinics but it might make more sense to give condoms away in pubs, clubs and taxis."
Those also in favour were the Brook Advisory Centre, yet they also believed that the message of "saying no" was of equal importance to young people as the accessibility to free condoms may have some young people feel that they will be forced into a situation they would not rather be in. They said,
"Widening access in this way is a good idea, but it also needs to be twinned with giving people the confidence to say no to sex and waiting."
A point made finally there which to many will be an issue. Safer sex may be the subject but surely to feel safe with someone is of equal importance...
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