Background: Measures to reduce coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission may impact sexual health. We aimed to examine the impact of COVID-19 on sexual behavior and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and to characterize individuals who were at high STI risk. Methods: Dutch heterosexual males and females who participated in a cohort study in 2016 to 2018 were invited to fill out 2 questionnaires again in 2020 (age, 21–28 years). We used behavioral and psychological data from: prelockdown (September 2019 to February 2020), lockdown (March to May 2020), and postlockdown (June to August 2020). Behavior change was compared between subgroups identified with latent class analysis. Results: Four latent classes were identified (n = 238). Individuals in class 1 (48% of study population) and class 2 (36%) were at low STI risk and reported mostly steady partnerships. Individuals in class 3 (9%) and class 4 (7%) reported multiple casual partners prelockdown. Class 4 was characterized by lower condom use and health goals, negative infection prevention attitudes, and higher impulsiveness compared with class 3. Furthermore, same/increased partner numbers during lockdown (class 3, 18%; class 4, 56%) and postlockdown (class 3, 36%; class 4, 42%) compared with prelockdown was often reported. Of individuals who wanted an STI test during the pandemic, 62% in class 3 and 56% in class 4 did not get tested, mainly because they were unable to get an appointment. Conclusions: A subgroup of individuals, characterized by low health goals, negative infection prevention attitudes, and high impulsiveness, engaged in high-risk behavior during the pandemic. Identifying these individuals may help provide appropriate health care during strict lockdowns and after relaxation of measures.
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Conflict of Interest and Sources of Funding: The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose. The iMPaCT project was funded by the Strategic Programme (SPR) of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (project number S/113004/01/IP). No extra funding was obtained for the COVID-19 questionnaires.