Condoms are a valuable tool in combating the continued spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Despite the fact that condoms are effective and easily accessible, young adults report inconsistent condom use and young adults represent a disproportionately large amount of new STI cases annually. The Behavioural Immune System theory suggests that health behaviours, such as condom use, are impacted by cognitive activation of perceived threat of disease. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic may then have unforeseen impacts on condom use and the spread of STIs. The present study investigated changes in condom use during the pandemic, and any associations these changes may have had with perceived vulnerability to COVID-19. An Australian sample of 269 students completed a survey asking them to recall their condom use prior to COVID-19, and then their current condom use. Final analyses included a sample of 149 sexually active heterosexual participants. Results revealed a general decline in condom use. Single and coupled participants both reported less frequent condom use, but this decrease was more pronounced among single people. Gender did not moderate these effects. Surprisingly, diminished condom use was not significantly related to perceived threat of COVID-19. Findings of the present study have concerning implications for sexual health and sexual messaging during pandemics.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : COVID-19, Condoms, Sexual health, Sexually transmitted infections