As many cities and countries around the world are entering into lockdown in an effort to flatten the curve of coronavirus, many folks are beginning to wonder how all this will impact their sex lives.
For a lot of us, sex is a major stress buster, not to mention a calorie burner. So it’s understandable that, amid a global pandemic, when everyone’s stressed out and unable to exercise, people might want to do it.
Now, the New Zealand AIDS Foundation has issued a statement warning against having casual or anonymous sex. Instead, it recommends people consider alternative methods for getting off.
“People should not even be considering leaving the house for casual or anonymous sex and should not be inviting people into their homes,” says Dr. Jason Myers.
“We acknowledge that sex and intimacy are great ways to help stay connected and boost mental wellbeing, and we acknowledge that sex will continue to be a part of our lives in the coming weeks and months.”
Just to be clear, COVID-19 is not an STI, but close contact with someone who is infected is extremely high risk. And having sex is about as close you can possibly get to a person.
“We have tools such as condoms to prevent HIV and other STIs,” Myers said, “but COVID-19 is not an STI and requires different prevention measures.”
Of course, expecting everyone in the world to be totally celibate for the foreseeable future is pretty much impossible, so NZAF is recommending people try phone sex, webcam sex, or just masturbate as an alternative to their usual Grindr hookups.
A lot of people have already been doing this. A recent Reddit thread asked guys how they were getting their rocks off amid the pandemic.
“Serious question: Are you guys hooking up on the apps, business as usual, or are you cutting back because of corona?” a Reddit user asked his gay and bi brethren. “I’m horny, but I’m also scared.”
Many responded by saying they were either not hooking up at the moment or having good old-fashioned cybersex.
“People living with HIV or other auto-immune concerns will understandably be worried about their health if they were to contract the virus,” says Myers. “We can help alleviate those fears by changing our sexual practices and staying indoors to keep community transmissions of COVID-19 low.”
Just to be clear, here’s what the CDC says about COVID-19 in people with HIV:
At the present time, we have no specific information about the risk of COVID-19 in people with HIV.
The risk from immune suppression is not known, but with other viral respiratory infections, the risk for people with HIV getting very sick is greatest in:
- People with a low CD4 cell count, and
- People not on HIV treatment (antiretroviral therapy or ART).
People with HIV can also be at increased risk of getting very sick with COVID-19 based on their age and other medical conditions.