Avoid unsafe sex, Notting Hill Carnival revellers urged

HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) has advised those attending the Notting Hill Carnival to avoid unsafe sex.

Now in its 47th year, Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s biggest street festival, with more than one million revellers expected to attend the event this weekend.

THT will be teaming up with bands at this weekend’s carnival to distribute free condoms to revellers in an effort to encourage them to look after their sexual health.

The charity is providing condoms to the members of Flagz and Bajan Revellers, two of the bands who will be parading during this year’s carnival. The bands will be sharing the freebies with carnival-goers at the iconic street party on Sunday 26th and Monday 27th August.

London remains the sexually transmitted infection (STI) capital of the UK, with more than 100,000 new STI diagnoses in the city in 2011, an increase of eight per cent on the previous year.

Using condoms remains the best way for people in the capital to protect themselves against STIs.

Michelle Harewood, Outreach Liaison Officer for Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Notting Hill Carnival is a unique event with a fantastic party vibe – a chance for London to celebrate with music and dance. But it is also a great arena to reach people across London’s diverse communities and give them the tools they need to have safer sex. Sexual health is still considered a taboo subject by many and the carnival is a relaxed environment to help revellers ensure that celebrations and safe sex go hand in hand.

“It’s great to have Flagz and Bajan Revellers band members on board, doing their bit to promote safer sex.”

Max Davis from the Bajan Revellers said: “People know a lot about how to look after their general health but, unfortunately, sexual health is something that often gets forgotten. Large amounts of people will be partying hard at this year’s carnival. This provides the perfect opportunity to give them the resources they need to enjoy safer sex. This was received well by our band members last year, and we know it will have a positive impact on the communities we are involved with.”