As Australia’s coronavirus death toll rises to 12 and confirmed cases to 2,799, Thorne Harbour Health (formerly the Victorian AIDS Council) has a stark message for the LGBTQI+ community:

“Stop having casual sex”.

The organisation, formed in 1983, said that this was the first time in its history, that it was issuing such an advisory to the community.

Thorne Harbour releases sexual health advice on dating apps

“We’re faced by an unprecedented global health crisis. While COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted infection, the close personal contact we have when during sex poses a serious risk of COVID-19 transmission. We need people to stop having casual sex at this stage,” Simon Ruth, CEO of THH. “But after four decades of sexual health promotion, we know abstinence isn’t a realistic strategy for most people. We need to look at ways we can minimise risk while maintain a healthy sex life.”

THH had last week issued an info sheet that listed strategies to minimise risky of COVID-19 transmission while having sex. This included online sex, phone sex, using sex toys, practising solo sexuality and buddying up or limiting sexual activity to an exclusive sexual partner.

“You can reduce your risk by making your sexual network smaller. If you have a regular sexual partner, have a conversation about the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Provided both of you are limiting your risk by working from home and exercising physical distancing from others, you can greatly reduce your chances of COVID-19 transmission,” said Ruth, who has also released a video message to address issues around sex and COVID-19.

Find, THH advisories, including the Sex and Intimacy Info sheet here.

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