Have fun and stay safe this weekend

Siksika Health Services wants community members and visitors to enjoy the Siksika Nation Fair by reducing your risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by following safer sex practices. It is also important to watch your alcohol consumption. If you choose to drink alcohol, know your limits, including when not to drink alcohol at all.

Practice safer sex:

Safer sexual practices, like using condoms help protect against STIs. Common STIs in Alberta include syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

A particular concern is syphilis, as there is an ongoing syphilis outbreak in Alberta. If not treated, syphilis may cause blindness, paralysis, deafness, brain and heart disease, and mental health problems. Untreated syphilis in pregnancy can cause miscarriage and stillbirth.

Cases of syphilis have been observed across all age groups in this outbreak. Anyone engaging in unprotected sex outside a mutually monogamous relationship is at risk of syphilis infection and other STIs.

You can prevent getting an STI by:

  • Talking with your partner about using protection and about each other’s history of STIs, before sexual activity.
  • Using condoms as protection
  • Getting tested regularly for STIs, even if you don’t have any symptoms.
  • Getting immunized against hepatitis A, hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV).

Consider your alcohol use:

Alcohol changes the way a person thinks, acts, and feels. Alcohol can affect your coordination, balance, reaction time, judgment, and ability to make safe and healthy decisions for you and others. 

Moderate alcohol use for healthy adults generally means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.

If you choose to drink:

  • Opt for low percent alcohol.
  • Keep hydrating, alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic (preferably water).
  • Eat before and during your drinking.
  • Avoid consuming cannabis or other drugs with alcohol.
  • Plan a safe and sober way home.

Zero is the limit when:

  • Taking medicine or other drugs that interact with alcohol.
  • Pregnant, planning to become pregnant or about to breastfeed.
  • Doing any dangerous physical activity.
  • Driving a vehicle or using machinery and tools.
  • Responsible for the safety of others.
  • Making important decisions.

If you are with someone who is choosing not to drink, support them to maintain their “no alcohol” decision.