Calgary Stampede parties leads to STIs, unwanted pregnancies

Bars in the city will be hopping this week and next — “I’ve heard people get a little crazy at Stampede,” says Richard Brown, who admits he’s a Stampede virgin.

Calgary Sexual Health Centre head warns revellers of negative consequences

Revellers will take over the city for the next 10 days during the Calgary Stampede — and their actions could lead to unintended consequences, warns a Calgary sexual health worker. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Bars in the city will be hopping this week and next — “I’ve heard people get a little crazy at Stampede,” says Richard Brown, who admits he’s a Calgary Stampede virgin. 

But Justin Greve, who grew up in Calgary, says this isn't his first rodeo.

“The city makes such a big deal about it and because of that, its socially acceptable to really be an idiot and do stupid things.”

But, it is "those stupid things" that has people like Pam Krause concerned.

The head of the Calgary Sexual Health Centre says her counsellors get really busy — after the Stampede is over.

Krause says that's when the negative consequences of risky behaviour start to show.

She says not only is there a spike in sexually transmitted infections at this time of year but also in unwanted pregnancies.          

“I really credit it to there's a party atmosphere, a permission that what happens at Stampede, stays at Stampede, and I think then we see health consequences as a result of that.”

“That, to me, is the biggest concern. Over this concentrated period of time we can take risks that we normally wouldn't. Then the consequences can be very real for individuals — and families, quite frankly.”

Krause says sex education counsellors and bar owners are working together in a campaign that urges people to play safe and "Put a Condom on Your Cowboy."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.