Nova Scotia

Article probes questions about drinking and safe sex

A local article about how vomiting can lessen the effect of birth control pills has gone viral. But much of the attention it is getting is focused on drunken unprotected sex among young people.
An Openfile article has lead to talks about drinking and safe sex among young people. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

A local article about how vomiting can lessen the effect of birth control pills has gone viral.

But much of the attention it is getting is focused on drunken unprotected sex among young people.

One of the people interviewed in the article said she vomited a lot, drank a lot and had a lot of sex while drunk in university.

Halifax reportedly has more bars per capita than any other city in the country, and with thousands of post-secondary students, there can be a lot of alcohol flowing on weekends.

Halifax's Openfile set out to show the risks of pregnancy and the article's quotes are being repeated around the world.

The American blog Gawker — read by millions —makes fun of girls going wild in Halifax.

"They don't sound like very classy ladies who were responding to it, quoted in it," said Victoria Legge, a student at Dalhousie University.

Other students said the binge-drinking was a common occurance.

Those in the public health industry say the article should fuel serious talks with or among young people.

John Gillis, spokesman for Capital District Health Authority, said pregnancy isn't the only issue with drunken, unprotected sex.

Sexually-transmitted infections such as chlamydia and syphillis are on the rise.

"Boils down to the culture around alcohol," Gillis said. "That if we accept that this is how we use alcohol, we're forgetting all these consequences that might not be immediately apparent."  

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