Gay and bi men should be cautious about sex – particularly with multiple partners – if they want to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus.
Leading LGBT+ health charity GMFA has issued the advice, along with information on mental health and for people with HIV.
It comes as one gay porn studio in the US halts production due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Charged Media produces the Say Uncle network of titles including Family Dick, Brother Crush, Latin Leche, Young Perps, Missionary Boys, Black Gods, and Yes Father.
It says it is making the move to protect its employees. However Charged Media promises it has a back catalogue of unseen material to release.
Sex is a high-risk activity
The advice GMFA gives is directed at gay and bi men – but the same logic will apply to all sex.
GMFA says: ‘Because of the way the virus is spread, sex is a high-risk activity, especially if you are having sex with different partners. This is because during sex we tend to swap bodily fluids such as salvia (spit), sweat and cum.
‘Obviously the best way to prevent contracting COVID-19 would be not to have sex, even with your long-term partner. But if you are then try and limit the swapping of bodily fluids through kissing and cuming. Using condoms for oral sex would help.
‘The other thing you can look at is reducing the number of sexual partners you are having. If you are attending sex and chemsex parties, saunas or darkrooms then it might be safer to limit these or stop going.
‘Should you become infected with COVID-19, by stopping your sexual activity you can prevent passing it on to others.
‘Obviously if you are in a long-term relationship and both of you are at home and self-isolating and not showing symptoms then have as much fun as you like. Though if one of you starts to show symptoms try and avoid sex for up to 14 days.’
HIV positive people
Leading charities have already reassured people with HIV. They say if they are otherwise young and healthy, that they are unlikely to be at greater risk. GMFA endorses this advice.
However, people who have other health conditions related to their HIV may need to self-isolate.
Meanwhile GMFA advises people who need to test for HIV and STIs to use home testing services if they can.
Looking after your mental health
GMFA is also advising people to look after their mental health and wellbeing.
It says: ‘Lots of gay and bisexual men experience depression and anxiety so if you are one of these people then make sure to look after your mental wellbeing.
‘Overall, we know during this time hooking up can help beat boredom and isolation. But we all have to do our bit to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We know older people are high risk of health complications with this virus so we all must do what we can to protect others.’
You can find more coronavirus health advice for LGBT+ people, and some schemes to support each other in the community here.
Protect yourself and others
Meanwhile, you can protect yourself, your loved ones and the wider population by following this general advice:
- Wash your hands more regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
- Put any used tissues into the bin immediately.
- Avoid touching your face, particularly your nose, mouth and eyes.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
- If you are unwell, avoid contact with others (touching, kissing, hugging and other intimate contact) and check the latest official advice on seeing a doctor or self-isolating.
- Use hand-sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) if it is not possible to wash your hands.