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Int J STD AIDS. 2007 Dec;18(12):810-3.

Binge drinking, sexual behaviour and sexually transmitted infection in the UK.

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  • 1School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK.


Associations between sexual risk and alcohol consumption may be self-evident but have eluded detailed examination in the UK. A cohort of 520 genitourinary (GU) medicine clinic attenders in the south of England were given a detailed questionnaire and compared with a matched cohort from the General Household Survey (GHS). Clinic attenders binged heavily--a median of 13 units on a usual night and 26 on a 'heavy' night, compared with six units in the GHS cohort. In all, 86% of clinic attenders exceeded the UK government 'binge drinking' level of six units, and 32% of subjects thought that alcohol played a role in their clinic attendance. A total of 77% had been drinking before sex with a new partner; of these, 65% were usually or occasionally very drunk. Binge drinking was increased in the 29% diagnosed with a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (P < 0.003). Of the women, 19% reported an unwanted pregnancy, with 28% drinking beforehand.

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