Researchers in Australia have announced the results of a study on gay men’s sexual habits during the coronavirus pandemic. The conclusion: men report having 12 times less sex than during happier days.
Medical journal JAIDS published the conclusions July 31. The study examined the habits of 940 queer men in Australia, and found that 95% recognized COVID-19 as a serious risk during sexual encounters. As a result, men reported an 84% decrease in the number of sexual encounters, monogamous relationships notwithstanding.
“The results from our study show that an overwhelming majority of gay and bisexual men have adapted their behaviour and are adhering to physical distancing guidelines,” lead researcher Dr. Mohamed Hammoud told QNews. “Gay and bisexual men have adjusted their prevention strategies throughout the HIV epidemic to protect themselves and each other. Our community has a long history of creating innovative strategies to reduce risk. [We’re] seeing this continue with this new health challenge.”
In more welcome news, researchers also postulate that the reduction in sexual encounter will also mean a precipitous drop in STI diagnosis.
“Trends in these diagnoses are likely to fluctuate significantly in response to changes in physical distancing restrictions,” said Garrett Prestage, one of the co-authors of the study. He noted that he expected “a reduction in new HIV and STI diagnoses in the short term.”
The researchers will next investigate the mental and emotional effects of COVID-19 on the queer, male population.