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Sex in the Time of COVID-19

BC Centre for Disease Control

Travis Salway, Aidan Ablona, Hsiu-Ju Chang, Sarah Watt, Catherine Worthington, Daniel Grace, Jason Wong, Gina Ogilvie, Troy Grennan, Mark Gilbert

Topic areas

2S/LGBTQ+COVID-19IndigenousPeople of colourYouth

Study Design:

This is a survey-based quantitative study out of British Columbia, with responses collected between March and May 2020.

Study Sample:

The study sampled HIV-testing and sexual health service clients from British Columbia, Canada, with 1198 total respondents.

Research Questions:

This study investigated self-reported mental health during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic (March-May 2020). As a secondary objective, this study also explored differences in self-reported mental health across socially defined subgroups, including 2S/LGBTQ+ people, Indigenous people, and other racialized minorities.

Preliminary Findings:

55% of respondents reported their mental health as poor at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (March – May 2020). Poor self-rated mental health was 17% greater for Indigenous respondents and 12% lower for racialized non-Indigenous respondents, as compared with white respondents (p<0.05). The prevalence of poor self-rated mental health was 8% greater among those <30 years of age and 6% greater among those 30-39 years of age, as compared with respondents aged 40 and older (p<0.05). The prevalence of poor self-rated mental health was 17% greater (absolute difference) for trans respondents, as compared with cisgender respondents, though this difference was not statistically significant. *All percentages reflect absolute differences.

Existing and Forthcoming Publications and Outputs:

A manuscript informed by this study is in preparation.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Mark Gilbert

Contact Information for Updates:

Sarah Watt (Research Coordinator):
Travis Salway:

Find more information on the study homepage

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Related publications

  • Salway T, Ablona A, Chang H, et al. Self-rated mental health among sexual health service clients during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, British Columbia, Canada. Preventive Medicine 2021;153:106789

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BC Alliance for Monitoring Mental Health Equity respectfully acknowledges that the land on which we work is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations.

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