Sex and coronavirus

man with facemask waves

Coronavirus is not an STI. But you can get it or pass it on while having sex. Because of coronavirus, STI and HIV testing is less available in some regions than usual.

Coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19. COVID-19 is especially dangerous for the elderly, and for people with a weakened immune system, for people who are overweight and for lung or heart patients. But young, healthy people can also become very sick for a long time. 

The government measures mean to slow down the spread of the virus as much as possible. As a result, as few people as possible end up in hospital (simultaneously).

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General measures against the coronavirus

The measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus can be summarized as follows:

  1. Stay away from other people as much as possible: keep 1.5 meters distance, work from home as much as possible and limit the number of social contacts and visitors at home. Advice: wear a facemask when you cannot keep enough distance from others. Wearing a facemask is mandatory in public transport;
  2. Hygiene rules: cough or sneeze into your elbow. Do not shake hands or kiss. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water;
  3. If you experience symptoms that may be consistent with COVID-19, stay home and get yourself tested for coronavirus. Stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you get the results.

For a complete overview of all measures, please consult the National Government.

 
Can you still have sex now that the coronavirus is present in the Netherlands?

You can still have sex at 1.5 meters distance. Think of masturbating together remotely or via the webcam. With sex within 1.5 meters you run the risk of getting or spreading the coronavirus. Sex with your steady partner is still possible. If you live together or if you are already regularly together within 1.5 meters, sex does not pose an extra risk. Do you still want to have sex with other people? Read first how to reduce the risk of corona during sex.


Limited STI testing options during corona crisis

GGDs are busy fighting the corona virus. That is why you at some GGDs, you can only come for urgent matters. check the website of your GGD for current information.

Testlab 

Unfortunately, Man tot Man Testlab is also temporarily closed or not fully available in some places. Keep in mind that it may take longer than usual for your results to arrive. It may also take longer before you can go to the STI clinic for treatment if the test result is positive. In Amsterdam, Zoetermeer and Delft you have to make an appointment before going to the laboratory. You can find current information about Testlab here.

Testing for STIs and HIV in corona times

Postpone your STI test

If you have not had sex since the start of the corona crisis, you can postpone your six-monthly STI check. But before you start having sex again, it is wise to at least get an HIV test. Then you know for sure what your HIV status is.

Not sure whether you have an STI?

First do the Symptom Checks at Hebikhiv.nl and Syfilistest.nl. That way you can better estimate whether your symptoms demand urgent medical attention. 

Have you been warned or do you have symptoms of an STI or HIV?

Then you cannot postpone your STI test. Follow these steps:

  1. First check if you can simply go to your GGD or your general practitioner (GP). At your GP, you pay for your STI consultation and any treatment via the deductible of your health insurance. So you have to pay for it yourself, unless your deductible for the year has already been spent.
  2. If you can't go to the GGD and do not want to go your GP, you could try one of these reliable STI home tests: Soapoli-online.nl or Saltrodirectlab.nl. Please note: these tests are not free and your health insurance does not cover them. Does the test show that you have an STI? The home test providers will help you get the right treatment. This will often be through your own GP or GGD.
  3. Do you want to get tested for hepatitis C? This can be done via the home test of NoMoreC.nl.

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