COVID-19 in Canada: National survey seeks to understand impact of pandemic upon queer male health

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      Although the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, vulnerable and marginalized communities and individuals have been particularly impacted.

      That includes LGBT people, as restrictions and health measures can magnify inequalities, access obstacles, social isolation, and more. Added stressors can exacerbate pre-existing issues, including mental, physical, sexual, and social health issues, which LGBT people have often disproportionately faced.

      For men who have sex with men (MSM), the pandemic has created challenges in delivering or accessing health services, such as HIV and STI testing or mental-health support, and disrupted usual means of exercising, socializing, and sexual activities.

      A survey conducted in late March by Egale Canada found that LGBT Canadians were more adversely affected by the pandemic than the average Canadian in areas such as finances, physical and mental health, quality of life, and future outlook.

      To delve further into this subject, the Vancouver-based national queer male health organization Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC) is interested in finding out how the lives of MSM and queer males have been affected by the pandemic and is launching a special COVID-19 edition of its national Sex Now Survey, in partnership with the Ontario HIV Treatment Network.

      The survey includes questions about sexual behaviour and health, mental health, substance use, health service access, and COVID-19 pandemic experiences.

      The collected data will help to improve services and interventions during the pandemic.

      Anyone who has completed the Sex Now Survey in the past is eligible for this new survey, which includes new questions. Respondents can participate (in English or French) until early September.

      To participate in the survey, visit the COVID-19 Sex Now Survey webpage. 

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at @StraightLGBT or on Facebook.