Do not attempt to hook up during the coronavirus lockdown, says Terrence Higgins Trust

“You are your safest sexual partner right now.”

The Terrence Higgins Trust has advised those in lockdown to not seek hook ups.

Due to the misinformation online about sex and the coronavirus, medical director Dr. Michael Brady has written an educational blog post clarifying the NHS and government’s guidelines on how to keep safe during this pandemic.

“This follows the new measures which have been announced by the Government telling everyone to stay at home, to stop face-to-face socialising, to stop all non-essential journeys and to limit our movement,” he writes.

“Unless you have sex with someone within your household, it’s important to find sexual pleasure in other ways. Sex is an important part of life, but right now we have to find other ways to achieve sexual pleasure and satisfaction.”

Although there is no evidence to suggest that the coronavirus can be transmitted through sexual contact, Brady stresses that it can be spread through close physical contact, rimming and kissing because of saliva and mucus.

He said: “Unfortunately washing your hands and not kissing someone during sex isn’t enough to stop the virus. Even if someone doesn’t have symptoms, they may still have the virus. It’s estimated perhaps as many as 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms – but can still pass the virus on to others. That could be you or a potential partner.

“If you still want to have sex with someone else, then the safest partner is someone you live with. Having close contact – including sex – with only one person or a small circle of people helps to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

“It’s strongly advised that you don’t hook up with strangers or multiple partners for sex.”

Having little-to-no body contact and less sexual intercourse will reportedly make a “big impact” on reducing the passing of the coronavirus. Brady states that you are “your safest sexual partner right now”.

He advises those who are sexually frustrated to relieve stress and anxiety through masturbation, and if you feel comfortable, to connect with partners via phone sex on WhatsApp or other social media platforms.

To those who are wondering if you should keep using PrEP, Brady says: “For cis gay and bisexual men, it’s safe to stop taking PrEP as long as you stop after two full days after you last had sex. For everyone else, including cis women, trans people and non-binary people, it’s advised you wait until seven full days before stopping.

“When you’re ready to re-start PrEP, cis gay and bisexual men can re-start with a double dose taken two to 24 hours before sex. For everyone else, you need re-start with a daily dose for seven days before having sex again.”

Read Dr. Michael Brady’s post for Terrence Higgins Trust here.

You can also view more information about the coronavirus pandemic and guide for those living with HIV here.

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