Happy New Year! Don’t forget contraception

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It’s New Year’s Eve, and for many people that means some confetti, bubbly and even a midnight kiss. But if you hope that for that kiss to turn into something more, safe sex advocates emphasize the importance of curbing your cocktail intake, and remembering contraception. Research sponsored by the sexual health non-profit group Marie Stopes International finds that more than a quarter of people between the ages of 18 and 34 report having had unprotected sex because they were too intoxicated to remember contraception. The findings prompted the organization to launch a “Wrap It Up” campaign promoting safe sex around the holidays.

Marie Stopes International conducted an online survey in collaboration with the research and consulting group YouGov, which offers minor compensation (80¢ to $1.60) to its “panelists” for every survey they complete. Of respondents between the ages of 18 to 34, 48% said they tended to consume more alcohol during the holidays, and 27% said that, in the past they had unprotected sex because they had been too inebriated to remember protection. Additionally, roughly half of respondents (45%) said that they’d had sex they otherwise wouldn’t have as a result of being intoxicated, and nearly as many (41%) said they regretted such encounters.

Health officials emphasize the dangers of risky sexual behavior—including an increased likelihood of sexually transmitted disease, and the possibility of unwanted pregnancy.

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