Table of Contents
Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Volume 2014, Article ID 357239, 6 pages
Research Article

Young Risk Takers: Alcohol, Illicit Drugs, and Sexual Practices among a Sample of Music Festival Attendees

1Centre for Population Health, Burnet Institute, 85 Commercial Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia
2School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, 99 Commercial Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia

Received 27 June 2014; Accepted 20 November 2014; Published 14 December 2014

Academic Editor: John B. F. De Wit

Copyright © 2014 Rebecca Jenkinson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Alcohol and other drug use and sexual risk behaviour are increasing among young Australians, with associated preventable health outcomes such as sexually transmissible infections (STIs) on the rise. Methods. A cross-sectional study of young people’s health behaviours conducted at a music festival in Melbourne, Australia, in 2011. Results. 1365 young people aged 16–29 completed the survey; 62% were female with a mean age of 20 years. The majority (94%, ) reported drinking alcohol during the previous 12 months; among those, 32% reported “binge” drinking (6+ drinks) at least weekly. Half (52%) reported ever using illicit drugs and 25% reported past month use. One-quarter (27%) were identified as being at risk of STIs through unprotected sex with new or casual partners during the previous 12 months. Multivariable analyses found that risky sexual behaviour was associated with younger age (≤19 years), younger age of sexual debut (≤15 years), having discussed sexual health/contraception with a doctor, regular binge drinking, and recent illicit drug use. Conclusion. Substance use correlated strongly with risky sexual behaviour. Further research should explore young people’s knowledge of alcohol/drug-related impairment and associated risk-taking behaviours, and campaigns should encourage appropriate STI testing among music festival attendees.