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Choice, Think About it - Phase 2: Binge Drinking linked to Sexual Risk 11 August 2006

The Department of Health and Social Security’s Public Health Directorate (Health Promotion Team), along with key partners, have launched the second phase of the ‘Choice’ Campaign.

The ‘Choice’ Campaign has been developed in response to increasing concerns about the risks to young people (15 to 24 years) associated with binge drinking, drug use and second hand smoke. This week sees the launch of the second phase of the campaign, which aims to raise awareness (through media coverage, posters in nightclubs and radio adverts) about the consequences of binge drinking in relation to sexual behaviour and the health problems this can create.

The launch coincides with the National Sexual Awareness Week (7th to 13th August). Dawn Henley, Senior Health Promotion Officer said,

“Drinking alcohol may lower inhibitions and affect judgment. In some situations this could lead to increased risky behaviour in young people, the consequences of which, they may later regret. Research has shown that, after drinking, some people have unprotected sex which they later regret. Alcohol is a risk factor in relation to sexual health. The consequences of unprotected sex could lead to an unwanted pregnancy and or a sexually transmitted infection. Moderate drinking is one way to enjoy alcohol responsibly and wake up the following morning with no regrets.”

Lesley Dorward, Director of Health Promotion said,

“The Isle of Man, like the UK, is seeing an increase in sexually transmitted infections, such as Chlamydia. About 70–80% of men and women infected with Chlamydia will not have any obvious signs and may not even know they are infected. Chlamydia is usually passed from one person to another during unprotected sex.”

Free confidential testing for sexually transmitted infections (including Chlamydia) is available at the Genito Urinary Medical (GUM) clinic, Noble’s Hospital, telephone 650710.

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