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Face mask, condom must while having sex amid COVID-19 pandemic, says study

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Sexual intercourse can spread the novel coronavirus. Hence, couples should wear face masks while indulging in it, a new study conducted by researchers at Harvard University in the US suggests.

Titled Sexual Health in the SARS-CoV-2 Era, the study also elaborates that couples must take several other steps apart from wearing face masks in the event of sexual contact.

Taking a shower before and after having sex is absolutely imperative in order to prevent the transmission of the novel virus. Also, “cleaning of the physical space with soap or alcohol wipes” is necessary.

Researchers, in fact, also added that wearing condoms during sexual activity is necessary as men might have traces of the virus in their semen.

As per the study, abstinence or not having sex at all is the safest approach to the current scenario. Masturbation isn’t risky as well.

“Given that abstinence-only recommendations, however, are likely to promote shame and unlikely to achieve intended behavioral outcomes, sex-positive recommendations regarding remote sexual activity are optimal during the pandemic, balancing human needs for intimacy with personal safety and pandemic control,” the study said.

“Patients can be counseled to engage in sexual activity with partners via the telephone or video chat services. Given privacy concerns, they should be counseled to use secure encrypted platforms,” it added.

In this case, people should be “warned about the risks for sexual partners taking screenshots of conversations”.

On the other hand, considering the fact that complete abstinence from sex is “not an achievable goal” for some people, the “safest approach” would be “having sex with persons with whom they are self-quarantining.”

If people have sex with a person other than those with whom they are in self-quarantine, “avoid kissing and sexual behaviours with a risk for fecal-oral transmission or that involve semen or urine,” as per the study.

The novel coronavirus outbreak was first reported in China’s Wuhan city late last year. It has affected over 180 countries so far.

India’s COVID-19 case count breaches 2 lakh-mark, death toll rises to 5,815