Men who had sex after parties, pubs or games relating to the Rugby World Cup last year were more at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) than at other non-sporting events, new research shows.
Consequently, a group of sexual health clinicians are arguing that condoms should be promoted and alcohol availability limited at large sporting events in the future.
In fact, one of the lead authors of the study proposes that alcohol sponsorship of sporting events should be made illegal.
"People who are outside of their homes behave in different ways and the whole Rugby World Cup was sold as a big party, so we expected there would be a lot of drinking," Otago University professor and study co-author Jennie Connor said.
"The occurrence between drinking and sex is very high. Alcohol affects people's choices on who they sleep with."
Bacterial STI diagnoses increased during the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in South Africa raised concerns about sexual health and HIV.
New Zealand clinicians involved in the study suspected there would be an increased risk of people contracting STIs during the RWC tournament and say "what we thought would happen did".
Routine data was collected from more than 2000 people who visited a sexual health clinic in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and Dunedin in the five weeks during last year's tournament.
More than 70 per cent who had RWC-related sex had consumed more than three alcoholic drinks; only 22 per cent used a condom.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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