Sexual exposure to hiv infection during the covid-19 pandemic in men who have sex with men (Msm): A multicentric study

Alvaro Francisco Lopes de Sousa, Shirley Verônica Melo Almeida Lima, João Victor Rocha, Herica Emilia Félix de Carvalho, Artur Acelino Francisco Luz Nunes Queiroz, Guilherme Schneider, Layze Braz de Oliveira, Emerson Lucas Silva Camargo, Adélia Dalva da Silva Oliveira, Isabel Amélia Costa Mendes, Inês Fronteira

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The practice of sex with casual partners without the use of adequate prevention in the period of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic among men who have sex with men (MSM) can expose them to the risk of infection by the HIV virus. To assess this, we conducted an online survey in April and May 2020 in the entire national territory of Brazil and Portugal. We used the snowball technique for sampling, associated with circulation in social networks, totaling 2934 participants. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to produce the adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR). Eight-hundred-and-forty-two (28.7%) MSM presented at-risk sexual exposure in this period. In general, the types of sexual practices that most increased the chances of sexual exposure were having multiple partners (aOR:14.045); having practiced chemsex (aOR:2.246) and group sex (aOR:2.431), as well as presenting a history of at-risk sexual exposure (aOR:5.136). When we consider each country separately, the chances are increased in Brazil since the probability of the outcome was increased in those who practiced group sex (aOR:5.928), had multiple partners (aOR:19.132), and reported a sexual history of at-risk exposure (aOR:8.861). Our findings indicate that practices that are classically associated with greater chances of engaging in risky sexual exposure to HIV infection were the factors that most increased the chances of acquiring the virus in the pandemic context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9584
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Men who have sex with men
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sexual exposure


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