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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Sexual health and the Rugby World Cup 2011: a cross-sectional study of sexual health clinics in New Zealand

Rebecca Psutka A F , Patricia Priest A , Nigel Dickson A , Jennie Connor A , Sunita Azariah B , Jane Kennedy C , Jane Morgan D and Jill McIlraith E

A Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand.

B Auckland Sexual Health Service, Building 7, Greenlane Clinical Centre, Auckland District Health Board, Auckland 1051, New Zealand.

C Wellington Sexual Health Service, 275 Cuba Street, Ground Level, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand.

D Hamilton Sexual Health, 3 Ohaupo Road, Hamilton 3200, New Zealand.

E Dunedin Sexual Health Clinic, Ground floor, Dunedin Hospital, Great King Street, Dunedin 9014, New Zealand.

F Corresponding author. Email: rebecca.psutka@otago.ac.nz

Sexual Health 9(5) 466-471 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH12076
Submitted: 22 May 2012  Accepted: 4 July 2012   Published: 15 October 2012

Abstract

Background: We aimed to describe the characteristics of sexual health clinic (SHC) attendance and sexually transmissible infection (STI) diagnoses during the Rugby World Cup (RWC) in New Zealand in 2011. Methods: SHC attendance and STI diagnoses around the time of the RWC were compared with the 5 preceding years. A cross-sectional survey conducted at SHCs in four New Zealand cities collected information from attendees having RWC-related sex. Results: Although there was no statistically significant increase in clinic attendance or STI diagnoses during the RWC compared with previous years, in these four cities, 151 individuals of 2079 attending SHCs for a new concern reported RWC-related sex. The most frequently diagnosed STIs were chlamydial infection (Chlamydia trachomatis), genital warts and genital herpes. Most attendees (74%) who had RWC-related sex had consumed three or more alcoholic drinks; 22% had used a condom. Seven percent of women reported nonconsensual sex. RWC-related sex was associated with an increased risk of STI diagnoses in men: gonorrhoea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae): relative risk (RR) = 4.9 (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.1–11.4); nonspecific urethritis: RR = 2.8 (95% CI: 1.3–5.9); chlamydial infection: RR = 1.8 (95% CI: 1.1–2.9). Using a condom was associated with a reduced risk (RR = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.1–0.9) of diagnosis with any STI among those having RWC-related sex. Conclusions: These findings highlight issues that are amenable to prevention. The continued promotion of condoms as well as a reduction in the promotion and availability of alcohol at such events may reduce sexual health risks as well as other harm.

Additional keywords: alcohol, chlamydia, condom use, gonorrhoea, herpes, sports.


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