Football fans from Mansfield and Ashfield travelling to the World Cup are being urged to take a supply of condoms to the World Cup.
That is the message from the UK’s leading sexual health charity FPA ahead of the tournament which kicks off this week.
FPA has launched its Play safe, use a condom campaign to help men think more about their sexual health before they travel to Brazil. An army of 10,000 England fans is expected to make the trip.
Sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates in the country, and particularly among sex workers, are much higher than in the UK. This means men who have unprotected sex there are exposing themselves to greater risk.
TV doctor and FPA patron Dr David Bull said England supporters should pack condoms for their trip to Brazil, even if it is ‘just in case’.
“It’s a really good idea to take your favourite brand from the UK,” he said. “Condoms sold in Brazil may not be as rigorously tested as those here which carry the British Standards Institution Kitemark.
“You might not be planning to have sex at the World Cup, but it is better to be prepared if it does happen.
“Everyone will be in high spirits and no doubt lots of alcohol will be consumed. In these situations, there’s more chance of people doing something they might later regret.”
The rate of HIV infection in Brazil is double that in the UK among 15 to 49-year-olds, and among female sex workers it is 20 times higher.
Chlamydia and syphilis rates in the country are also significantly higher.
The campaign is being backed by charity HIVsport as well as the England Supporters Band who will travel with fans to Brazil.
Throughout the campaign, information, advice, and signposting to sexual health services for testing and treatment will be available at www.fpa.org.uk/playsafe