Risky behaviours, BBVs (blood-borne viruses) and STIs (sexually transmissible infections)
What’s alcohol got to do with BBVs and STIs?
- People may not always make the best decisions when they are intoxicated. This may include decisions about having sex, or getting a tattoo or piercing. All these behaviours can lead to BBVs if not done safely.
- Being intoxicated can make people vulnerable – being more relaxed and uninhibited or perhaps less aware of the decisions being made.
- People who are intoxicated run the risk of not using safe sex equipment properly, if at all.
What can you do?
- Make it your choice – it’s better to make an informed decision ahead of time about whether or not to have sex and how you are going to talk about it (how to say no or how to talk about safe sex, depending on what you decide). Thinking about these things ahead of time makes it easier to stick to your decision even if you are intoxicated.
- Be prepared – if there is any chance that sex might happen, take the necessary precautions. Take the time to learn how to put a condom on correctly (there is a knack, and you might not want to learn new tricks while intoxicated) and make sure you carry condoms and a water-based lube.
- If you know you don’t want to have sex and think the question might come up, think ahead about how you are going to talk about it – it can be an awkward discussion, so be clear on what you want to say ahead of time.
- Be cautious – being intoxicated can put you at greater risk of sexual assault. Stay with friends, tell friends if you are leaving the group and where you are going (and listen to them if they tell you not to!). Stay in well lit areas and avoid walking around alone or with someone new.
For more information about staying safe, being prepared and keeping cautious, visit www.getthefacts.health.wa.gov.au and www.leavers.wa.gov.au