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Pay more for alcohol and reduce STDs, study recommends


The recent raise on alcohol taxes in Kenya caused an outrage from drinkers. Findings of a new study which suggest that raised alcohol taxes result in a decrease in STDs should thus come as good news to lovers of the bottle.

If you spend more on alcohol, you will definitely be spending much less on antibiotics to treat STDs.

For the study, researchers from the University of Florida in the US looked at how gonorrhea rates across the different states were affected by alcohol taxes.

When the State of Maryland increased the tax on alcohol from 6 to 9 percent, the rates of gonorrhea transmissions reduced by a whopping 24 percent in the 18 months that followed. These findings held when the researchers looked into data from other states.


The researchers concluded that alcohol ready does impair judgment and higher alcohol tax rates reduce the consumption of alcohol.

Subsequently, a society that is drinking less is less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors including unprotected sex and having sex with new partners. In fact, the researchers liken the effectiveness of raised alcohol taxes in combating STDs to that of condom distribution.

Explaining these findings which have been published in the Journal of Preventative Medicine, the researchers observe that taxes can be used to shape behavior.

“If policy makers are looking for a way to protect young people from harmful sexually transmitted infections, they should consider raising alcohol taxes,” says Stephanie Staras, who led the study.

Alcohol increased taxes may be an efficient strategy for reducing sexually transmitted infections. The researchers suggest that higher alcohol taxes may effectively reduce the rate of HIV infections.