SexLivesReport 2023: Canadian youth rely on internet for sex-ed, use condoms less and have surge...

SexLivesReport 2023: Canadian youth rely on internet for sex-ed, use condoms less and have surge...

By LetsStopAIDS


October 16, 2023

Sex Lives Report Cover photo

The National representative survey of 18-24 year-olds finds a disconnect with what is being taught in school and what should be learned by Canadian youth.


⁠/ /--LetsStopAIDS, Canada’s largest youth-driven charity focused on HIV prevention and knowledge exchange has released its Sex Lives Report 2023, and the findings reveal a disturbing gap between what is being taught through the nation's Sex Education curriculum and what Canadian Youth are seeking from it.

The national representative survey of 1,090 Canadian youth aged 18-24 reveals that while Canadian Youth felt that Sex-Ed classes provided them with an abundance of scientific information on anatomy, pregnancy and STIs, it severely lacks in practical knowledge or skills that may be used in real life. In fact 2 out of 3 young Canadians surveyed felt that Sex-Ed did not make them feel prepared for sex, and less than 5% remember being taught about other main HIV prevention methods such as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).

With a historic surge in STIs and an alarming drop in condom use since 2020, the Sex Lives Report indicates that the current curriculum inadequately addresses key topics, leaving youth uncertain about navigating their sexual journeys.

Shamin Mohamed Jr, Founder and President of LetsStopAIDS says that this year's report shows a clear desire for a more comprehensive and sex-positive Sex-Ed curriculum in schools.

“While the curriculum includes topics that we as an organization champion, Canadian Youth are seeking more practical guidance rather than conventional teaching methods that are now obsolete,” says Shamin. “Canadian Youth have many unanswered questions, and are turning to the internet for help instead of finding it in the classroom, and the growing wave of disinformation available at their fingertips only adds layers of complexity to this issue.”

The second annual report delved into young people's relationship with their sexuality and gauged their knowledge on HIV and STI prevention including risky behaviour, sexually transmitted infections, and gender identity.

The Nationally Representative Survey found:

63% of young Canadians felt that Sex-Ed did NOT make them feel prepared for sex.
⁠70% of youth agreed that “Sex-Ed only taught me about heterosexual relationships/sex.
Only 19% of Canadian youth remember learning about gender identity in Sex-Ed. 37% of youth agreed that “Sex-Ed mainly pushed abstinence.
⁠Less than 5% of young Canadians remember learning about PrEP, PEP and U=U.
⁠Despite the rise of the popularity of TikTok and Instagram, only 19% and 15% respectively, of youth go to them for sexual health information.
⁠33% of sexually active Canadian youth reported they never wore a condom during sex in the last 6 months.
⁠27% of young Canadians who were diagnosed with STI(s) and/or HIV reported that they did not receive treatment.
⁠80% of young Canadians did not engage in regular STI and HIV testing in the last 6 months.
⁠The percentage of youth who reported wearing condoms “all the time” during sex, has reduced from 53% in 2020 to 23% in 2023.

The 2023 Sex Lives Reports was released today ahead of the LetsStopAIDS NoTimeToWait conference, taking place in Toronto at the TMU Student Centre from October 20th-21st. This year's theme, FlipTheSwitch focuses on inspiring change by shedding light on the HIV-related issues and shifting the narrative around HIV and AIDS.

NoTimeToWait is Canada’s largest Youth-HIV leadership event and was born out of the desire to take action about the rising Youth-HIV rates in Canada.

To learn more about the conference or to register, please visit:

For nearly two decades, LetsStopAIDS’ mission has been to raise HIV awareness, foster youth leadership, and reduce HIV-related stigma which they say is pivotal to ensuring that proper awareness, access to testing, prevention, and treatment remains elusive. For more information, please visit:

About LetsStopAIDS:

LetsStopAIDS is Canada’s largest youth-driven charity focused on HIV prevention and knowledge exchange. Founded in 2004 by then 15-year-old Shamin Mohamed Jr., LetsStopAIDS inspires youth in Canada and globally to play a meaningful role in ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Through its numerous programs, LetsStopAIDS inspires young people affected by HIV to take action within their local communities, striving to achieve zero new Youth-HIV infections.

Learn more at

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