A greater focus on sexual health education is apparently needed.
A new report is shining a light on the sex lives of young Canadians.
The study from LetsStopAIDs, a youth-driven Canadian charity focused on HIV prevention and knowledge, surveyed 1,018 Canadians aged 18 to 24.
Its findings show that the age group "are more sexually adventurous, sending more nudes and using less protection," with the number of people foregoing that form of contraception doubling in the last three months.
"The pandemic has really changed the sexual behaviour of youth," said Shamin Mohamed Jr., the founder and president of LetsStopAIDS.
"They have fewer sexual partners and feel the pandemic has stolen experiences from them," he explained. "As things open up, youth are calculating their risk and deciding how sexually adventurous they want to be."
He notes that a focus on sexual health education is key as well as "accessible and affordable prevention resources."
In addition to fewer people using contraception, over half of the youth surveyed said that during lockdowns they continued to have sex with partners from other households.
Around one-third of sexually active young people say that the pandemic "has made them more sexually adventurous" and around 40% who were on online dating apps said they sent more nudes during lockdown.
"In the last three months, 28% of youth diagnosed with STIs did not receive treatment," the study says. "Only 26% of youth have knowledge of PrEP, only 20% know about PEP and only 11% of youth know what U=U is."
As well as sexual health, almost 75% of young people said they're worried about the pandemic's impact on their mental health.
These findings come ahead of AIDS 2022 which is "the largest international HIV and AIDS conference taking place in Montreal from July 29 to August 2."
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.