This study was done to assess and compare sexual behaviors and mental health of Israeli MSM during social distancing in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anonymous web-based questionnaires were used as a tool for data collection in a popular geospatial application used by MSM during the social-distancing period.

The DV was casual sex and IVĀ  were demographic characteristics, sexual behaviors before and during social-distancing restrictions, and mental health.

Total participants were 2,562 participants out of which only 39.5% continued to meet new casual sex partners during this period. Being of a younger age, single, and with higher levels of mental distress predicted engagement in casual sex during the social-distancing period. MSM reduced their sexual risk and limited sexual repertoire. Participants also spent more time in dating applications and increased their use of sex phone, webcams, and porn videos. They perceived the threat of coronavirus to be greater than that of HIV.

The study concluded that the negative feelings of distress is a potential barrier to adherence among vulnerable populations, such as MSM.

Reference: https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(20)30836-5/fulltext