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VAS

People should wear face masks during intimacy and avoid kissing

Between The Sheets By Mirror
Guidance does point out sex with someone you live with is most advisable (Photo: Shutterstock)

Wearing face masks, avoiding kissing and opting for non-face-to-face positions during sex are crucial in preventing the further spread of coronavirus, a sexual health charity has said.

The Terrence Higgins Trust has released guidelines on safe sex as lockdown measures continue to be eased - though advises abstaining from sex outside your home is still the best course of action.

THT accepts that even with people abiding by the social distancing rules, it is unrealistic to ask people to refrain from sex completely.

But guidance does point out sex with yourself or someone you live with is most advisable.

Masturbation, using sex toys or participating in phone or online sex are recommended as the safest options, as these can be done at a distance from others.

If having sex with someone outside of your household, the charity advised having one regular partner or limiting the number of sexual partners as well as taking other precautions.

Face masks, no kissing and non-face-to-face positions are advised (Photo: Shutterstock)

Potential sexual partners should discuss Covid-19 and ask if they or anyone in their household have had symptoms or tested positive.

The charity also recommends not having sex if you feel unwell and to isolate if you have symptoms.

Sexual partners are advised to wash their hands for 20 seconds before and after sex to help reduce the risk.

Due to the ways Covid-19 is spread, the charity further recommends not kissing and wearing a face covering during intercourse.

The charity also advises picking positions where participants are not face to face.

Sexually active people are also advised to use condoms as well as dams for activities such as rimming, as the Covid-19 virus is thought to be found in some bodily fluids.

Sexually active people are advised to wear a condom (Photo: Shutterstock)

THT's medical director Dr Michael Brady said: "Sex is a very important part of life and asking people to avoid sex indefinitely is not realistic.

"That's why, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues, we all need to find ways to balance our need for sex and intimacy with the risks of the spread of Covid-19.

"We're clear that abstaining from sex is the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus.

"But we hope by issuing this advice we will help people to manage the risks of Covid-19 while also being able to have and enjoy sex."

The charity has also stressed the importance of sexual health outside of the pandemic and also recommends getting an STI test before starting to have sex again.

THT previously said lockdown measures could have helped slow HIV transmission rates, creating an "incredible opportunity" to "break the chain" of HIV infection spread.

As it can take around a month after possible exposure to HIV for it to show up on a test, anyone who has not had sex since before lockdown will get an accurate result.

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