Cantabrians warned not to break lockdown for 'casual sex'

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
People in Christchurch are being told not to break the rules of lockdown to engage in "casual or anonymous sex".

The New Zealand AIDS Foundation has warned against the act in a bid to keep people safe from sexually transmitted infections, especially now the HIV testing clinic on Peterborough St is closed.

Instead, NZAF has suggested alternatives like consensual phone sex, webcam sex and masturbating.

Said NZAF chief executive Jason Myers: "The lockdown is in place to keep transmissions of COVID-19 as low as possible and to protect vulnerable members of our communities."

"People should not even be considering leaving the house for casual or anonymous sex and should not be inviting people into their homes."

While COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted infection, close contact with a person infected with COVID-19 is extremely high risk.

Any sexual contact, including kissing, involves an exchange of bodily fluids and creates an even higher risk of transmission.

"We have tools such as condoms to prevent HIV and other STIs, but COVID-19 is not an STI and requires different prevention measures," Dr Myers said.

"We acknowledge that sex and intimacy are great ways to help stay connected and boost mental wellbeing, and we acknowledge that sex will continue to be a part of our lives in the coming weeks and months."

"People living with HIV or other immunity concerns will understandably be worried about their health if they were to contract the virus," Dr Myers said.

"We can help alleviate those fears by changing our sexual practices and staying indoors to keep community transmissions of COVID-19 low."

At present, there is no evidence to determine whether people living with HIV are at greater risk of acquiring the new coronavirus or developing more severe disease as a result of that infection.

NZAF is keeping ahead of any developments in this area and will be sharing them at www.nzaf.org.nz/covid19.

NZAF’s community services have been impacted by the lockdown but are still available in different capacities - HIV self-test kits can be ordered through the post by visiting www.nzaf.org.nz.

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