Have fun but stay safe during the Calgary Stampede

July 8, 2022

CALGARY – Alberta Health Services (AHS) wants residents and visitors to enjoy the Calgary Stampede and to stay safe.

During this time of increased socializing, this includes 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 barrier contraceptives such as condoms and dental dams, 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.

Syphilis can also be transmitted to babies when mothers are infected during pregnancy and can damage a baby’s bones, teeth, vision, and hearing.

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:

You can call 811 to be connected to your local STI clinic or visit ahs.ca/srh to find a clinic near you to access testing.

Consider Your Alcohol Use

AHS is working with the community to reduce alcohol-related harms. Alcohol changes the way a person thinks, acts, and feels. How alcohol affects you depends on many factors including your weight, biological sex, age, whether you have eaten, and if you have taken any other substances (e.g., prescription drugs, over-the-counter-medicine, cannabis, or other drugs).

The size of a drink, the amount of alcohol in the drink and how fast you consume the drink also contribute to the effects of alcohol.

Alcohol can affect your coordination, balance, reaction time, judgment, and ability to make safe and healthy decisions for you and others. Short- and long-term effects of alcohol use may include injuries from falls and drowning, alcohol poisoning, memory loss, medication interactions, cancer, relationship issues, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

If you choose to drink:

Zero is the limit when:

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

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.