Binge drinking behind sexual health ‘epidemic’

UK Telegraph 17 December 2007
Binge drinking among women is causing an epidemic of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, doctors have warned. Research has found that almost nine in ten women who attended a sexual health clinic admitted binge drinking – an average of two and a half bottles of wine in one sitting. Three quarters said they had unprotected sex because they were drunk. Women who were diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection drank 40 per cent more than those who did not, showing a much stronger link between risky behaviour and alcohol consumption than previous thought. …The first detailed UK study carried out in sexual behaviour and alcohol questioned 520 people who attended one genito-urinary clinic in a city in the south of England. A third of women in study (92 women), who attended the clinic reported a pregnancy and 41 of them had undergone a termination. Half said of those who were pregnant said it was unwanted and more than a quarter of those said they had been drinking before having unprotected sex. …Linda Tucker, one of the main authors of the study and a consultant nurse in sexual health and HIV, said: “The link between sexual risk and drinking too much is not the most original idea in he world but we now have clear scientific evidence of the relation ship. 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.

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