Forty per cent of the participants in a survey reported no change in their number of sex partners during the COVID-19 pandemic while 31% reported a decrease.
British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) conducted this study to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people’s sex lives and access to sexual health services in BC. It also wanted to know whether alternate ways of delivering sexual health services during the COVID-19 pandemic would be acceptable. By doing this survey, it hoped to collect information that would help to inform future decisions about changes to sexual health services in BC.
BCCDC conducted an online survey of BC sexual health service clients between July 21 and August 4, 2020. Clients were recruited from the BC Centre for Disease Control’s West 12th sexual health clinic and through GetCheckedOnline.com, an internet-based testing service..
Below ares some of the results. You can access the full survey here:
58% of participants had no or one partner since the start of the pandemic.
64% of participants had looked for or received information of being exposed to COVID-19 infection during sexual encounters.
35% of participants would feel judged by others for having sex during the pandemic. 80% of partners were regular sex partners, and 31% of partners lived in the same household.
Of the 25% reporting an increased number of partners, most (20%) reported the increase in partner number later in the pandemic.
Overall, 26% of participants agreed that they were, or would soon be, having sex with more people than earlier in the pandemic.
In the first phase of the BC pandemic (March-mid-May 2020), 65% of participants reported worry about getting COVID-19 during sexual encounters. By the time of the survey, 26% reported feeling less worried.