Updated: Apr 22
Sex and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Here are some tips for how to enjoy sex and to avoid spreading COVID-19.
1. Know how COVID-19 spreads. • You can get COVID-19 from a person who has it. o The virus can spread to people who are within about 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 when that person coughs or sneezes.
o The virus can spread through direct contact with their saliva or mucus. • We still have a lot to learn about COVID-19 and sex. o COVID-19 has been found in feces of people who are infected with the virus. o COVID-19 has not yet been found in semen or vaginal fluid. o We know that other coronaviruses do not efficiently transmit through sex.
2. Have sex with people close to you. • You are your safest sex partner. Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex. • The next safest partner is someone you live with. Having close contact — including sex — with only a small circle of people helps prevent spreading COVID-19. Have sex only with consenting partners. • You should avoid close contact — including sex — with anyone outside your household. If you do have sex with others, have as few partners as possible. • If you usually meet your sex partners online or make a living by having sex, consider taking a break from in-person dates. Video dates, sexting or chat rooms may be options for you.
3. Take care during sex. • Kissing can easily pass COVID-19. Avoid kissing anyone who is not part of your small circle of close contacts. • Rimming (mouth on anus) might spread COVID-19. Virus in feces may enter your mouth. • Condoms and dental dams can reduce contact with saliva or feces, especially during oral or anal sex.
• Washing up before and after sex is more important than ever. o Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
o Wash sex toys with soap and warm water. o Disinfect keyboards and touch screens that you share with others (for video chat, for watching pornography or for anything else).
4. Skip sex if you or your partner is not feeling well. • If you or a partner may have COVID-19, avoid sex and especially kissing. • If you start to feel unwell, you may be about to develop symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath. • If you or your partner has a medical condition that can lead to more severe COVID-19, you may also want to skip sex. o Medical conditions include lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system (for example, having unsuppressed HIV and a low CD4 count) .
5. Prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy. • HIV: Condoms, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and having an undetectable viral load all help prevent HIV. For more information, visit nyc.gov/health and search HIV. • Other STIs: Condoms help prevent other STIs. • Pregnancy: Make sure you have an effective form of birth control for the coming weeks.
As a valued client and friend of SisterLove, Inc., we appreciate the trust you place in us on a daily basis.
In the current situation, it's important for all of us to remain vigilant as it relates to taking cautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus.) It is also important that you know SisterLove is taking the matter of your health and wellness very seriously.
In order to exercise caution, SisterLove is suspending our testing and counseling program, effective March 13, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020. Updates or changes will also be made on our website and social media platforms going forward. While the offices will be closed, our staff will be fully operational and working remotely. For test results, appointments and referrals, please call 678-705-7194. As it relates to SisterLove's programs, events, focus groups, etc., please call 404-505-7777 for more specific guidance and information.
We are closely following the public safety guidelines of this evolving situation by monitoring the City of Atlanta, Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia.gov, Centers of Disease Control (CDC), and World Health Organization (WHO).
What You Should Know
COVID-19 infections spread from person-to-person through viral droplets of mucus or saliva that contain the virus that enters a person’s eyes, nose or mouth. Coronavirus can spread when an infected person coughs or or objects. Some infected people show no symptoms. The CDC advises individuals to take the same precautions that are always recommended to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like the flu and the common cold. Visit the CDC’s Prevention and Treatment site for more information.
What You Can Do
-Avoid close contact with sick people. The CDC recommends maintaining a distance greater than 6 feet. When sick, limit contact with others as much as possible; if possible, stay home if you are sick.
-Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
-Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
-Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
-Seek medical care if you feel sick with a fever or cough, or have difficulty breathing. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead.
- Do not travel to hotspots identified by the CDC and or the WHO. The travel list is constantly being updated so stay informed by going to their websites.
Balancing Caution and Compassion
Lastly, in keeping with our Reproductive Justice core values, we encourage everyone to show compassion and support for those most closely impacted and to avoid sharing public messaging that lends itself to encouraging shame and stigma associated with COVID-19. We urge everyone in our community to share only trusted, evidence-based information.
Do not show prejudice to people of Asian descent because of fear. Coronavirus doesn’t recognize race, nationality, or ethnicity. Although Coronavirus (COVID-19) started geographically in Wuhan, China, having Chinese ancestry – or any other ancestry – does not make a person more vulnerable to this illness or make them responsible.
Wearing a mask does not mean a person is ill. People wear masks for a variety of reasons including to avoid pollen and air-born pollution and for cultural, social and other medical reasons. We should not judge someone for wearing a mask or assume they are sick.
Show compassion and support for those most closely impacted. Listen to, acknowledge and, with permission, share the stories of people experiencing stigma, along with a message that bigotry is not acceptable in our community.
We will get through this challenging time together. It is important to remember that we are always stronger as a community than we are alone.