COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. COVID-19 is highly contagious and as such has had a dramatic effect on our day to day lives.
To help stop the spread of coronavirus everyone has been asked to follow the health advice on hse.ie.
While there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be sexually transmitted, it can be passed on through close contact with someone who has the virus.
It is important to maintain proper handwashing, respiratory hygiene and comply with current government guidelines. If you have any symptoms, phone your GP or Out of Hours services to discuss. If you are feeling very unwell, phone 112 or 999.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will allow you to be safer when engaging in relationships and sexual activity.
People who are fully vaccinated and are well can meet other people without face coverings and do not need to stay 2 metres apart. See here for more information.
If you have had COVID-19 (a positive diagnostic test) is unlikely you will get it again within nine months after being infected.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should get tested, even if you are vaccinated or have had it before. Avoid sexual activity and close contact with others when you have symptoms.
There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination affects fertility
You can also view these guidelines in French, Spanish and Portuguese.
COVID-19 can be passed from person-to-person, who may or may not have symptoms, during close and intimate contact. Being sexually active with another person involves some risk of COVID-19 transmission, especially as you may not know if someone has COVID-19 if they have no symptoms.
If you or your sexual partner is unwell avoid sexual activity and close contact.
Remember: you can reduce your risk of COVID-19 by:
As well as protecting yourself from coronavirus, it is important to take the usual safer sex precautions to protect from STIs and HIV.
There is no evidence to suggest that people on PrEP or HIV treatment have additional protection against COVID-19.
Read more about consent here.
Alcohol and Drugs impair your judgement. To reduce risk, our advice would be to avoid both if you are having sex. Find out more about alcohol and drugs and safer practices.
While there continue to be some restrictions to public sexual health services, there are services available. Contact your local STI clinic or GP to book an STI test. Find out more about service availability here.
Click here for information on the free home STI testing service.
Unplanned pregnancy services
My Options provides support and information for those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. The service continues to operate as normal during this time. Freephone 1800 828 010 or visit myoptions.ie.
HSE-funded unplanned pregnancy counselling services are now provided face to face and/ or remotely via video link or over the telephone. This will depend on your needs. They continue to provide the same level of service. You can find their contact details on myoptions.ie.
Abortion services continue to be provided. You can have your pre-abortion consultation by phone or video link. If the doctor needs to see you in person, they will tell you. You can find out which doctor in your area offers this service by calling the myoptions freephone helpline number at 1800 828 010. Find out more information on myoptions.ie.
There is no evidence to suggest that people on PrEP or HIV treatment have additional protection against Covid-19.
This information was last updated on the 16th November 2021 and is subject to change depending on evolving restrictions and evidence linked to COVID-19.
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