To investigate the factors associated with the practice of sex under the influence of drugs (chemsex) among Portuguese men who have sex with men during the period of social distancing to prevent the COVID-19.
Online survey applied in May 2020 to a sample of 1,301 participants living in Portugal, recruited according to Respondent Driven Sampling and via social media Facebook®. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were performed along with logistic regression to calculate adjusted Odds Ratio (ORa).
The prevalence of chemsex was 20.2%. The likelihood of practicing chemsex increased with group sex (ORa: 28.4, 95%CI 16.93–47.49); unprotected sex (ORa: 7.1 95%CI 4.57–10.99); the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent COVID-19 (ORa: 4.2, 95%CI 2.71–6.39) and COVID-19 testing (ORa: 1.9, 95%CI 1.15–3.10).
The practice of chemsex among men who have sex with men during the COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal was very frequent and may support greater understanding of the role and impact of sexual behavior on the COVID-19 transmission rates and the current pandemic situation in Portugal.