HSE releases information on minimising risk during sex in Covid-19 pandemic

HSE releases information on minimising risk during sex in Covid-19 pandemic

The HSE has released information on the best sex practices during the Covid-19 pandemic.

While there is no evidence that coronavirus can be sexually transmitted, it can be passed on through close contact with someone who has the virus, therefore being sexually active with another person involves some risk of getting the virus.

HSE Sexual Wellbeing have updated their website with a series of guidelines on how to minimise the risk of contracting the illness.

Here is what they advise:

  • Only be sexually active with someone you live with who does not have the virus or symptoms of the virus.
  • Avoid being sexually active with anyone outside your household.
  • Avoid kissing anyone outside of your household and anyone with symptoms. Kissing can easily pass on coronavirus.
  • Taking a break from physical and face-to face interactions is worth considering, especially if you usually meet your sex partners online or make a living by having sex. Consider using video dates, sexting or chat rooms. Make sure to disinfect keyboards and touch screens that you share with others.
  • Masturbation will not spread coronavirus, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after.
  • While the current advice is not to have sex with or kiss anyone outside of your household, if you do, it is important to limit it to as few partners as possible. Remember close sexual contact with anyone you are not living with can put you and others at risk of coronavirus. Use condoms and dental dams to reduce contact with saliva or faeces, especially during oral or anal sex and avoid rimming (mouth on anus) as it might spread coronavirus.
  • Wash before and after sex. This is more important than ever. Wash hands thoroughly and often with soap and water.
  • They advise you to avoid sex and especially kissing if you or your partner has symptoms of coronavirus, for example, fever, cough or shortness of breath.

    If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, you should self-isolate and phone your doctor.

    You should also avoid sex if you or your partner has a medical condition that can lead to a serious illness because of coronavirus. Medical conditions include lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system (for example, having unsuppressed HIV and a low CD4 count).

    Find out more about at-risk groups.

    They also added that there are significant restrictions to public STI services because of the coronavirus situation.

    Find out more about these restrictions.

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