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Is there a safe way to maintain an active sex life in the midst of monkeypox? – 13.09.2022

The new monkeypox outbreak, declared a international public well being emergency by the WHO (World Health Organization) in July, raises a warning to the sexually active inhabitants. This is as a result of the virus infects folks by skin-to-skin contact and intimate objects – akin to cutlery, garments and blankets – with sex being a excessive-danger second. This begs the query: Is there a safe way to maintain an active sex life amid the monkeypox epidemic?

Before answering this query, Tatiana Batista, specialist in infectious illnesses in the municipality of João Pessoa (PB) and professor in the Medicine Course of the UFCG (Federal University of Campina Grande), explains that monkeypox is just not thought of an STI (an infection, sexually transmitted). ). That’s as a result of there’s no conclusive analysis but on whether or not the virus is transmitted by genital fluids or anal contact per se.

On the different hand, sex is an exercise that exposes folks to the illness, as contact with contaminated pores and skin is the primary mode of transmission. “Sexual intercourse includes friction, which generates microtraumas in the pores and skin that favor the transmission of contact illnesses, as in the case of monkeypox,” says Battista.

For Bernardo Wittlin, an infectious illness specialist and lecturer in infectious illnesses at the University Hospital of UFMA (Federal University of Maranhão), that is a delicate dialogue.

What we do know is that the virus exists in genital fluids, however the virus has not but been confirmed to be active. The drawback is that once we classify a illness as an STI, we can provide the false concept that that is the solely route of monkeypox transmission, which isn’t true. Bernard Whitlininfectious illness physician

The incubation interval of the illness, which lasts 5 to 10 days, contains preliminary signs akin to fever, physique aches and swollen glands. Then pustules seem, blisters on the pores and skin, which over time type dry crusts. It is important to anticipate the pores and skin to absolutely regenerate earlier than socializing once more, which may take an common of two to three weeks. The sores are extremely contagious.

On the different hand, it’s nonetheless a matter of science whether or not the affected person is already transmitting the virus at the preliminary second of an infection, in which there are nonetheless no pustules or scabs.

According to José Angelo Lindoso, specialist in infectious illnesses at the Instituto de Infectologia Emílio Ribas (SP) and professor at the USP School of Medicine (University of São Paulo), sufferers who’ve seen them report having sex with out a condom with companions, which apparently had no wounds.

Diagnosed sufferers say their associate had no pores and skin lesions. People change into contaminated with those that wouldn’t have active lesions. There are additionally instances of folks with gentle, discrete and few accidents, creating a danger of transmission. Jose Angelo Lindoso, infectious illness specialist

Most sufferers have sores in the anal and genital space, however they’ll seem anyplace on the physique.

According to Batista, there is ongoing analysis investigating whether or not the “rash” — the reddening of the pores and skin that precedes the blisters — can be a transmitter of the virus. This might clarify sexual transmission between folks with out pustules.

In different phrases, there isn’t any precise type of safety – it could merely be the absence of sexual companions. But it’s doable to take some precautions to cut back the danger of an infection. Check out some under:

There is a scientific consensus when it comes to sexual well being: condom use is crucial. Experts report that condom use has declined, rising sexually transmitted infections that weaken sufferers’ immunity, making them extra prone to new illnesses akin to monkeypox.

Although condoms do not fully shield towards monkeypox—as a result of it is a illness with contact with any contaminated pores and skin—condom use stays necessary for decreasing the danger of an infection, in addition to defending towards varied STIs.

  • Reduce the quantity of companions

In late July, WHO Director Tedros Adhanom introduced that decreasing the quantity of sexual companions was an necessary measure. “At this time, [é indicado] cut back the quantity of sexual companions, overview sex with new companions and share contact particulars with new companions to enable comply with-up if obligatory,” he mentioned.

The SBI (Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases) and SBU (Brazilian Society of Urology) issued a joint word giving the similar suggestion, in addition to stating that “they stand in solidarity with folks affected by the illness and don’t assist any sort of discrimination.”

The challenge of discrimination issues the majority of these recognized who’re males who’ve sex with males – which doesn’t imply that different teams can’t be contaminated, akin to girls and youngsters who’ve additionally been recognized. Experts interviewed warned of the danger of stigmatizing the LGBTQIA+ inhabitants, which already suffers from marginalization, when it comes to the subject of monkeypox.

“Stigma has a minimum of two adverse penalties: it marginalizes those that will not be in this danger group, and it retains stigmatized folks away from well being providers, who worry being remoted, mistreated,” says Whitlin. If you think you’ve gotten monkeypox, search medical consideration by masking the affected areas and carrying a masks.

  • Talk to companions about it

Although STIs are nonetheless taboo, speaking about the subject with companions is necessary. In the case of monkeypox, it’s no completely different, and dialog can be important. If you’ve gotten any signs or redness on any half of the physique, notify companions, cancel dates and search medical consideration. According to consultants, the extra you discuss well being points, the higher your safety towards illness may be.

Getting common STI screenings and inspiring companions to do the similar is a constructive perspective that may assist improve normal well being consciousness in addition to assist demystify monkeypox.

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