(Pxhere)

(Pxhere)

B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

It’s been nearly a year since provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told British Columbians that it was “not the time to do rapid serial dating.”

But did British Columbians listen?

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (CDC) released a survey Wednesday (March 3) titled “Sex in the time of COVID-19,” which looked at how people’s personal lives changed as a result of the pandemic. The survey was conducted from July 21 to Aug. 4, and recruited from the CDC’s West 12th Avenue sexual health clinic and through GetCheckedOnline.com, an online testing service.

READ MORE: ‘Rapid, serial dating’ a no-go even as people expand their pandemic bubbles: Dr. Henry

Researchers found that 58 per cent of those surveyed had no partners or just one since the pandemic began. Forty per cent of those surveyed reported no change in the number of sex partners during the pandemic, while 31 per cent reported a decrease. However, 25 per cent reported increasing their number of partners later in the pandemic.

Broken down in real numbers, 45 per cent of had one partner throughout the pandemic, 28 per cent had two to three, eight per cent had four to five and six per cent had six or more. About 13 per cent of people had zero partners thought the pandemic.

Of the people surveyed, 31 per cent reported that their sex partners lived with their partners, which led researchers to believe that the majority of partners did not live together.

Researchers also found that 35 per cent of people worried about feeling judged by others for having sex during the pandemic.

How worried were people about catching COVID from their partners? During phase one of the pandemic, researchers found that 35 per cent were not worried at all, 38 per cent were somewhat worried, 14 per cent were very worried and 12 per cent were extremely worried.

During phase two, 26 per cent of people said they were less worried, nine per cent said they were more worried and 65 per cent reported no change at all.

Researchers also looked at how, and if, people accessed sexual health services during the pandemic. They found that 58 per cent of people reported needing sexual health services during the pandemic, but that of those people, 52 per cent did not access the service.

Researchers also found that 66 per cent of people avoided or delayed seeking sexual health services. Of those, 52 per cent delayed or did not access services because of public health messaging to avoid seeking non-urgent care, 48 per cent were concerned about getting COVID at a clinic or lab and 40 per cent did not do so because of closures.

The survey revealed that 41 per cent of people preferred to get tested through GetCheckedOnline, a government service that provides free sexual health testing without a need to go into a clinic. Researchers found that self-collection kits for testing, receiving those kits or antibiotics at home in plain packaging and express testing were good options for people to check on their sexual health as the pandemic continues.

READ MORE: How one pub trivia night can lead to nearly 300 COVID-19 exposures


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusRelationships

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A screenshot taken from the Parksville city council meeting on Monday, April 19, where members of the Friends of the Parksville Community Centre presented the results of an ongoing online petition. Parksville city council is shown top left, David Todtman is shown top right, and Valerie Dare is shown at the bottom. (Via Youtube)
Friends of the Parksville Community Centre members present online petition to city council

Nearly 2,600 signatures collected in bid to keep facility as community gathering place

The scene of a single-vehicle crash along Dolphin Drive in Nanoose Bay on Monday morning, April 19. (Mandy Moraes photo)
RCMP: No injuries reported in rollover crash in Nanoose Bay

Police say passengers indicate driver left the scene

The Town of Qualicum Beach plans to establish temporary shelters. (Town of Qualicum Beach illustration)
Town of Qualicum Beach seeks $1.25M grant to build temporary housing units

Aim is to move tenants in prior to the end of 2021

Mount Arrowsmith Teachers’ Association and its Nanaimo-Ladysmith counterpart seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (PQB News file photo)
Mount Arrowsmith teachers’ union asks health authority for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Victoria police are looking for a 38-year-old man after he allegedly assaulted and choked a missing 15-year-old victim in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night. (Black Press Media file photo)
15-year-old choked in Beacon Hill tent, Victoria police assaulted while intervening

Police searching for 38-year-old suspect, two officers injured in altercation with park residents

Canadian driver Paul Tracy pulls out of the pits during the morning session at the Molson Indy in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, July 26, 2003 (CP/Richard Lam)
Vancouver is considering hosting a Formula E race using electric cars

The race would be part of a three-day event focused on climate and sustainability

Chart from the April 20 B.C. budget shows sharp dip in real estate sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the even steeper climb since late 2020. (B.C. government)
Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

B.C. budget boosts tobacco, sweet drinks, carbon taxes

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
BC Fruit Growers’ Association gives thumbs up to provincial budget

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

Some Saanich firefighters have expressed concerns about first responders in the Island Health Region not being prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as an outbreak at a fire station would make service delivery a challenge. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Some Island firefighters not prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine despite working on frontlines

Saanich members express frustration, department calls on Island Health to take action

Most Read