Queer men in the U.K. are breaking lockdown in order to have sex. And when asked why, they say it’s because they were lonely.
This information comes from a new study released by 56 Dean Street, one of London’s most renowned sexual health clinics. The clinic surveyed HIV-negative queer men who had previously signed up for an online HIV prevention service. The results of the survey found that 76% of the 814 respondents had broken lockdown to have sex due to loneliness and boredom. Specifically, 29% of those who broke lockdown said they did it out of boredom, 48% cited loneliness, and 27% said it was because of stress and anxiety.
The survey results also included a few more revelations. Out of the 814 men who completed the survey, the median age as 40-years-old, 83% of respondents were White, and 75% were using PrEP during COVID-19 restrictions. Then, one-quarter of respondents reported having an equal number of partners or more than they did before the pandemic. The median number of partners was three.
Nineteen percent of respondents said they engaged in chemsex during the study time. Plus, 39% reported an increase in sexting, 28% reported limiting sex partners to people who were geographically close, and 21% reported choosing only one sex partner during lockdown. Plus, 76% said they had sex with people outside of their household.
Unfortunately, the clinic was most worried over the report of an 80% drop in people using sexual health services. With that, 28% of respondents said they acquired an STI during the U.K.’s first lockdown. As such, a big takeaway from this survey is the importance of keeping sexual health services open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These findings highlight the importance of ensuring sexual health services, particularly provision of PrEP, remain available during COVID-19 lockdowns or restrictions. It is critical that patients receive non-judgemental care and are not dissuaded from seeking services, even if their sexual activity is contrary to current public health restrictions. The results also highlight the importance of alternative methods of testing and treatment, such as home testing and medication home-delivery, to ensure services remain accessible.”
Source: AIDS Map,