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Binge-drinkers “should get access to free condoms in pubs”

18 December 2007

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A new report suggests that condoms should be given away free in pubs to binge-drinkers.

The authors of the research, which has been published in the International Journal of STD and Aids (IJSA), said that Britain’s drinking culture is contributing to a rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and women experiencing unwanted pregnancies.

And they said that although condoms are freely available from GPs and family planning/GU medicine services, they are not available in the places where people need them the most, such as pubs and clubs.

Researchers cited a study of 520 people who attended a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic in the south of England between 1 February and 5 April, 2006.

“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,” the report said.

The editor of the IJSA, Professor Wallace Dinsmore, added: “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 clinics, but it might make more sense to give condoms away in pubs, clubs and taxis.”

International Journal of STD and Aids

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