Spring Break – Sand, Suds and STIs


 Spring Break

Not that anyone is counting down the days, but Spring Break is almost here. Some of you are lucky enough to escape the frozen tundra of Happy Valley (we’re not jealous, really, we’re not). Whether you’re headed to the beach, some other sunny destination, or home to see family and friends, we hope you have a great break! We also want to remind you of the importance of protecting yourself and staying safe. For many, Spring Break means letting loose with large amounts of alcohol and sex. That is a combination that drastically increases your risk of getting a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI).

Alcohol and Sex

This isn’t rocket science here. When consuming alcohol, both men and women are more likely to engage in casual sexual behavior than if they weren’t drinking. Once you put on the “beer goggles” everyone starts looking better and your ability to make good decisions decreases. In fact, a recent study found that 65% of respondents reported alcohol or drugs being involved in their most recent casual sexual encounter.

Alcohol and Spring Break

If alcohol increases the chances you might make a decision you otherwise wouldn’t, than Spring Break multiplies those chances. We’ve all heard the Spring Break stories and some reports confirm their accuracy. The average Spring Breaker reported consuming over 10 drinks per day while on break and many reported having sex as a direct result of consuming alcohol, often regretting their decision. These decisions often have consequences that well beyond your college experience.

Spring Break and STIs

We don’t want to scare you, but the statistics are frightening. 75% of students reported never or rarely using a condom during Spring Break, and 88% of females said they rarely worry about STIs/HIV even though they are at risk, especially when engaging with multiple partners over break. But you don’t have to  be drinking to be affected by alcohol on Spring Break.

Spring Break and Sexual Assault

Unfortunately you don’t have to be drinking on Spring Break for alcohol to play a role in contracting an STI. Just being around others who are drinking in excess puts you at a higher risk. Almost 25% of women report some kind of sexual assault, and in 81% of alcohol related sexual assaults both the victim and the perpetrator were drinking.   And when alcohol is involved, victims are less likely to identify the experience as rape.

Safe Sex?

While the CDC notes that condoms can help reduce the risk of some STIs, it can’t eliminate the risk . So even if you are sober enough to remember a condom, you’re still putting yourself at a high risk of contracting a life-long disease and all of the consequences that come with it.

Memories are all we want you to bring home from Spring Break

We believe that it’s essential to make decisions about your behavior before you leave for Spring Break and insure you are with others who will help you stick to those decisions. If you’re drinking, drink in moderation and have someone with you who is not only the designated driver, but who will also help you stay safe sexually.

We hope you have a fun and safe Spring Break! And, we hope that we don’t see you when you get back unless you are just stopping by to say hi.

We know you’re not planning to visit us, but most clients who visit Pregnancy Resource Clinic thought they would be one of those statistics. Most clients think STIs and unplanned pregnancy are things that happened to other people. The good news: if you find yourself facing a possible STI or pregnancy, you’re not a statistic to us and we’re here to help.



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Category: Medical, Relationships, STD

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