Having safe sex during this pandemic is not only for your sexual health, but for everyone around you who is at risk of getting COVID-19. Safe sex during this time of isolation depends on your current relationship situation and, well, why you’re having sex in the first place.
If you are single or are in a relationship, there is a good chance that you are exposing at least one other person to COVID-19 or an unwanted STD. So, what’s there to do if these new restrictions are making it harder for us to have sex? We’ll it’s all about staying safe, being informed, having safer sex, communicating and getting tested.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to connect with people even if it’s at a distance. AFC Urgent Care Vernon is here to keep you informed about STD’s, sex and social distancing during COVID-19.
Is it even safe to have sex during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Now more than ever we all need to be careful when it comes to having sex and with whom. Reducing the spread of STD’s andSTI’s can also reduce the spread of the new Coronavirus. During this time of isolation we need to be smart when it comes to practicing safe sex and reducing exposure of the COVID-19 virus. Anyone can be infected with the virus and anyone can also have an STD if not checked regularly.
Everybody knows we like what we cannot have, but staying informed about STD’s, what they are and how to prevent them is important so that when isolation is over we can resume responsible sexual activity STD free.
Here are some facts from the CDC that you should keep in mind:
- CDC estimates that youth ages 15-24 make up just over one quarter of the sexually active population, but account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections that occur in the United States each year.
- During 2014-2018 Syphilis (all stages) cases increased by 81%
- Gonorrhea cases increased by 67%
- Chlamydia cases remained at record highs
- Congenital syphilis cases more than doubled
- Condomscannot completely protect you and your partner from some STDs, like herpes, syphilis, or human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer.
- It is important to get tested because although many STDs are curable and all are treatable, some do not show symptoms.
So to answer the question “Is it even safe to have sex during the COVID-19 pandemic?” The answer is Yes and No. You want to abstain from it and consider the people in your lives that are at high risk for COVID-19. You also don’t want to get tangled up with someone who might have an STD. Take Karen and Jake for instance. Karen doesn’t want an STD or the COVID-19 virus. She curved Jake to the ground and is doing the right thing by practicing social distancing. Also, don’t be a Jake. This is not the time to be reckless when there’s a pandemic going on.
If you live with a partner on the other hand and have not gone outside and are practicing good hygiene then the answer is yes. Just make sure that when you do that you use protection and have gotten tested for STDs if you are with a new partner.
Can you get COVID-19 from having sex?
We’ve seen the ongoing jokes and memes on Instagram and Facebook relating to COVID-19 and sex. But, asking people to refrain from having sex is unrealistic. We know that some of you still go outside and over to people’s houses. Given the common risks of transmission of the COVID-19 virus some of you are probably wondering if you can get it through sexual transmission. We can assume that almost any sexual activity may lead to its transmission due to close physical contact. But, to be clear the COVID-19 virus spreads through air droplets when infected people exhale, cough or sneeze. You can also get the virus from touching surfaces and then your face right after.
Since everyone has a different immune system and has been reacting to the virus differently, the only reliable way to know if you or your partner are infected is through testing. You can be infected with the virus and not have symptoms.
For those of you who are young and single and think that they can’t get the virus, think again:
AFC Myth Buster: Does the new coronavirus only affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?
People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.
How can I safely have sex without getting COVID-19
The best way to prevent the spread of STD’s and COVID-19 is to try to avoid close, physical contact with anyone who doesn’t livewith you. This means practicing social distancing, choosing safe sexual partners and protecting yourselves from unwanted STDS. There are still things you can do to be intimate and stay safe, alone or with a partner during this pandemic:
- Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds (think of it as the new foreplay)
- Avoid Tinder and other random hook up apps that may lead to contracting a sexually transmitted disease or COVID-19
- Use video chats with your partner to go on a virtual date or do to other intimate activities
- Practice self love with yourself (You are your safest sex partner)
If you have already started sexually engaging with someone, you should keep track of who they are, if they’ve been tested for STD’s and where they’ve been. Ultimately, abstaining from sex is the safest option, but realistically speaking you have the power to make the right choice to prevent unsafe sex and exposing yourself to others if you have the COVID-19 virus. It can be hard, but try to remember that this pandemic won’t last forever and that practicing social distancing now will help save lives in the long run.
Better to get tested than not
AFC Urgent Care Vernon is here to help you and your family during this time of crisis. We are located at 179 Talcottville Rd, Vernon, CT 06066 and are staffed by licensed professionals, ready to assist you. We are also open 7 days a week Monday-Friday 8am-5pm and Saturday-Sunday 8am-2pm and we accept most insurances.
If you are in a new relationship since the start of this quarantine or are trying to get tested, AFC Urgent Care offers confidential STD testing. During this time we recommend using our AFC TeleCare platform to schedule a virtual visit to speak with one of our providers about coming in for testing. Schedule a TeleCare visit here for your urgent medical needs like STD screenings, allergies, injuries and more:
If you or your partner suspect possible symptoms of COVID-19, you can also get a COVID-19 test done at our center. It’s a simple and easy process. Simply schedule a visit with us using our TeleCare service to pre-screen, and then you will receive direction on when and where to come in for testing. It takes 5-10 minutes and requires a cotton swab collection. Sign up for a TeleCare visit to get pre-screened for COVID-19 today