Press Article19/07/2010

Fans urged to be sure of HIV status

Football supporters recently returned from the World Cup in South Africa have been urged by doctors to have their HIV status tested if they had unprotected sex during their holiday.

As many as 25,000 fans travelled to follow England during the tournament and the NHS has launched an awareness campaign after statistics showed that about two-thirds of heterosexual men and almost a quarter of women who contract HIV do so due to holiday sex.

The "Beer Goggle Johnny's Guide to Sexual Health" campaign is encouraging fans to visit their local sexual health clinic if they took part in unprotected sex, in a country where one in five young adults are infected with HIV.

Dr Steve Taylor, sexual health and HIV consultant at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham, said: "During the festivities, if holidaymakers had unprotected sex, it is more important than ever to get themselves checked out on their return.

"Although the public are more aware of the dangers of unsafe sex these days, we are not seeing people putting this into practice, which is worrying. We want holiday makers to take precautions, pack condoms in their suitcase and attend sexual health screenings on their return if they are unsure."

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