The University of New Mexico Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) will hold a campaign over social media entitled “Sex during COVID-19” to address uncertainties surrounding the spread of the disease during intercourse.
“Intimacy and sex are more risky during a pandemic.” Health Promotions Manager Tiffany Martinez-Durant said. “So, that’s why we try and tell students if you’re actively dating someone where you are going to go meet up, you have to really vet your partner and consider the impact of public health, your loved ones, so forth and so forth.”
Martinez-Durant said although people are generally aware of how the coronavirus spreads there are still many facts surrounding COVID-19 that many are not aware of, such as how the virus was found in fecal matter.
“It hasn’t been found in semen or vaginal fluid yet, but we’re not entirely sure how efficiently COVID-19 is being transmitted through sex,” she said.
The campaign is based around a fact-sheet released by the New York City Health Department in late March 2020. It contains tips on how to safely have sex during the pandemic — such as educating yourself on how the virus spreads and only having sex with those close to you — and promotes masturbation. The fact-sheet also covers the dangers of kissing and being intimate with partners that you do not live with.
In particular, Martinez-Durant cautioned students of the potential health risks posed by intimate activity with those they are less close with, such as meeting sexual partners through dating apps like Tinder or Grindr.
This campaign comes off the heels of sexually transmitted infection (STI) awareness week, a week SHAC devotes to sexual health. Instead of holding their typical in-person awareness campaigns like their yearly “Condom-Mint” program, they took to social media to share their message.
“Right now we can’t be selfish, we have to be selfless,” Martinez-Durant said. “There are so many other people in this world that can contract the coronavirus and get really ill… So, if students can be as smart as we know they are making great decisions during this time whether it be creative dating online or creative dating with your partner in your own home.”
SHAC remains open to students while the University is under limited-operations, holding some appointments over the phone. SHAC is not a testing-site for the coronavirus.
Makayla Grijalva is the managing editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MakaylaEliboria