Flux Study

Flux COVID-19 Baseline Report 2020

A reorientation of the original Flux (Following Lives Undergoing Change) Study, this report summarises baseline data collected from 913 gay and bisexual men (GBM) during April 2020 on the impacts of COVID-19 and physical distancing measures. We reported findings on sexual behaviours, use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), drug use, mental health, testing for COVID-19 and social connectedness among GBM in Australia in the early stages of the pandemic.

Key findings
  • Almost all men reported avoiding close physical contact and group events with family and friends, and about almost two thirds had been avoiding casual sex and kissing.
  • Any sex with fuckbuddies reduced by 74%, any sex with casual partners reduced by 84% and any group sex reduced by 88% compared to before COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Just over half of men in Flux reported taking PrEP before COVID-19 restrictions and nearly 50% ceased taking it during restrictions.
  • Among the men that used illicit drugs, between 32.8% to 50% were using illicit drugs about the same and between 38.1% to 64.1% were using illicit drugs less compared to before COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Almost half of men indicated they had experienced mental health problems regardless of whether they had consulted a health professional for diagnosis and/or treatment.