News & Opinion | April 24, 2020 10:27 am

Study Finds Coronavirus Is Not Sexually Transmitted

Pandemic sex can still be safe sex

coronavirus sex
Masks and condoms are your new safe sex essentials.
Oleg Elkov/Getty

There have been a lot of questions, and a lot of different answers, about whether or not its safe to have sex in the age of COVID-19. After all, if social distancing is the name of the coronavirus survival game, committing some of the most physically intimate acts possible with another human seems like kind of a bad idea.

Fortunately for the horny and quarantined, a new study has found that coronavirus is not sexually transmitted, so while you can catch it from a stranger’s cough, their semen is probably safe. The new study, published Friday in the journal Fertility and Sterility, found no evidence of COVID-19 in the semen of 34 Chinese men who tested positive for the virus.

However, the doctors did note that their sample size was small and only included men with mild to moderate cases, suggesting it may be possible for the disease to infect semen in more critical cases. “It could be that a man who is critically ill with COVID-19 might have a higher viral load, which could lead to a greater likelihood of infecting the semen. We just don’t have the answer to that right now,” said study co-author Dr. James M. Hotaling in a press release. “But knowing that we didn’t find that kind of activity among the patients in this study who were recovering from mild to moderate forms of the disease is reassuring,” he added.

Meanwhile, another study published earlier this month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that the virus doesn’t appear to infect vaginal fluid either, suggesting the coronavirus isn’t transmittable through sex with a person of any gender.

That said, just because you can’t spread coronavirus directly through your genitals doesn’t mean there’s no risk involved when it comes to intimate contact. Hotaling warned the disease cans still spread through coughing, sneezing and kissing — all things that are likely to happen before, during or after a quarantine hookup. So when it comes to sex in the time of coronavirus, you’re probably still your own safest sex partner.

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