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covid-19 & sexual activities

Affinity Health: Can you get Covid-19 through sexual activities?

While COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted infection, it can be passed on through close contact. Affinity Health examines the link between sex and coronavirus.

We all know that limiting the spread of COVID-19 is paramount if we want to contain this deadly virus. Scientists agree that Covid-19 is transmitted through contact with droplets from the nose and mouth, including an infected person’s saliva. But, does that mean that sex is off-limits? In short, the answer is yes. 

If one individual has the virus, there is a significant risk of passing on COVID-19 through kissing and physical touching.

If you or your sexual partner have COVID-19 symptoms (see list included below), have been in contact with someone with the virus, or have tested positive for the virus, all close physical contact should be limited in order to stop the virus from spreading from person-to-person. This means avoiding physical intimacy,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

“It is also important to remember that there are no symptoms in some infected people and they appear healthy, but they can still transmit the coronavirus to others. On average it takes about five or six days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however, in some cases it can take as long as 14 days. If, however, both of you are healthy and feeling well, are practising social distancing, and have had no known exposure to anyone with COVID-19, touching, hugging, kissing, and sex is more likely to be safe.”

If you or your partner have been sick with COVID-19 and are now recovering, the World Health Organization recommends abstaining from all intimate contact for up to 14 days. During this time, the ill person should self-quarantine and limit the use of common spaces as much as possible. 

Common symptoms of Covid-19 include (but are not limited to):

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

If you are sexually active with someone outside of your household, Affinity Health recommends these precautions to reduce your risk of getting the COVID-19 virus:

  • Minimize the number of sexual partners you have
  • Avoid sex partners who have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Avoid kissing
  • Use condoms
  • Wear a mask during sexual activity
  • Wash your hands with soap and water and shower before and after sexual activity
  • Use soap or alcohol wipes to clean the area where you have sexual activity (research shows the virus can live on surfaces and may be spread when a person touches those surfaces, then touches their face)

While we certainly live in extra difficult times, social distance remains one of the most significant ways to keep you and your loved ones safe from Covid-19,” concludes Hewlett.


About Affinity Health

Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information, follow us on Facebook, and Instagram.  


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