For some years now, the rate of HIV and generally sexually transmitted diseases has been found to continually be on the increase. The evident and most common means of transmission of this disease has always been found to be through unprotected sex. Many organizations have remained focused on finding and taking measures to prevent the continuous spread of the disease. With all the awareness that has been made throughout the entire world, it has been bothersome to find that individuals still willingly engage in unprotected sex. This therefore raised the question, of what are possible causes of the willingness to engage in unprotected sex, when evidently it may lead to contacting an STD. Dr Jurgen Rehm, the lead author on the study that is later considered in this article said;
Alcohol affects our judgment no matter how smart and knowledgeable you are. Very often that people engage in unsafe sex after they are high or drunk, so it should be included as a factor of unprotected sex.
In an effort to answer this question, researchers have found a loop hole with alcohol. The consumption of strong alcohol drinks, especially when taking frequently and carelessly has for some time been associated with HIV incidences. Although, it is still unclear as to how alcohol may lead to HIV or what effect it has on an individual contacting HIV. A research was however conducted by some Canadian researchers from the University of Toronto, and funded by the United States National institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The research was published in January 2012, in the peer reviewed medical journal addiction.
The research was carried out using 12 experiments. In the study, participants, both male and female, were randomly divided into one or two groups, where they were made to either consume or not consume drinks that were alcoholic in nature. After consumption the participants where asked about their interest in having unprotected sex, and this was thoroughly investigated. Based on the data that was gotten from the 12 studies, the investigators found that, alcohol consumption affects decision-making, and this impact rises with the amount of alcohol consumed. Every increase in blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.1 mg/ml led to a 5% increase in the intention to engage in unprotected sex. Essentially the more alcohol the participants consumed, the more they were likely to engage in unprotected sex.
The team of experts from Toronto concluded in the journal that:
“Alcohol use is an independent risk factor for intentions to engage in unprotected sex, and as risky sex intentions have been shown to be linked to actual risk behavior, the role of alcohol consumption in the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections may be of public health importance.”
This article can therefore conclude that,
“According to research, the more a person drinks the more likely they are to have unprotected sex, which evidently increases the risk of getting a STD.”
It is important that every individual drinks responsibly.