Saint Lucia: Senior Medical Officer in the Health Ministry’s Infectious Disease Unit, Dr Gail Gajadhar, advises caution during Carnival festivities.
She said during the carnival season; people are more likely to throw caution to the wind. She urged the public to be prepared regardless of the circumstances.
“Carnival is a time when we find people have lots of inhibitions meaning they are more likely to do things they would not have done in other situations. There are different reasons for that, for example, alcohol use. Any substance that alters feelings and moods can affect one’s ability to make sound decisions,” she said.
“I encourage persons to be prepared and carry protection. If you don’t know your partner, ensure that you have protection so that if you find yourself in an unexpected situation, you are prepared. Safe sex does not apply only to carnival festivities,” she said while adding, “It applies 365 days a year, and ideally, you’re practising safe sex because you don’t want to acquire any unwanted sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhoea, HIV, and syphilis. To borrow a well-known phrase: glove up to love up.”
The health official says condoms are readily available, free, easy to carry and should be part of the safety package for carnival.