Sexual Health in the SARS-CoV-2 Era
Abstract Sexual contact carries some risk for exposure to infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. This commentary provides clinicians with guidance on how to address sexual health and activity with patients in this context. More than 200 000 people have died of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, leading to widespread concern regarding physical morbidity and mortality. The sexual health implications, however, have received little focus. On the basis of existing data, it appears all forms of in-person sexual contact carry risk for viral transmission, because the virus is readily transmitted by aerosols and fomites. This has resulted in broad guidance regarding physical distancing, with substantial implications for sexual well-being. Given the important role of sexuality in most people’s lives, health care providers (HCPs) should consider counseling patients on this topic whenever possible. This is an unprecedented and stressful time for HCPs; facilitating brief conversations and referrals to relevant resources (Table) can help patients maintain sexual wellness amid the pandemic.