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Research letter
Emerging impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on sexual health in Lebanon
  1. Ismael Maatouk1,2,
  2. Moubadda Assi3,
  3. Rusi Jaspal4
  1. 1 Dermatology, Clemenceau Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon
  2. 2 Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
  3. 3 National AIDS Program, Beirut, Lebanon
  4. 4 School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ismael Maatouk, Dermatology, Clemenceau Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon; ismael.maatouk{at}

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Dear Editor,

Lebanon registered its first COVID-19 case on 21 February 2020, which was followed by a nationwide lockdown (15 March–8 June), resulting in strict curfews, the prohibition of public gatherings and the closure of the international airport in Beirut.1 The pandemic has had compounding effects on the political and economic crisis with severe economic and health consequences.2

Throughout the lockdown, one of the largest sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV clinics in Beirut with linkages to major civil organisations in direct contact with sexual health beneficiaries has remained open for emergencies such as postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV and STI testing in people exposed to risk. Access to remote consultations has also been available. The clinic has noted a major reduction in …

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  • Handling editor Anna Maria Geretti

  • Twitter @ismaelmaatouk, @boudyassi, @ProfRJaspal

  • Contributors IM drafted the paper; MA reviewed data and RJ reviewed the overall paper. The three authors approved this final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.