Last month, we told you how researchers at the University of Utah said it’s unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through semen.
Now, a separate study has cast doubt on those findings, and raised the possibility that the virus can be spread through sex, which researchers have said would have major implications.
The Associated Press reports: Doctors detected the virus in semen from six of 38 men hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Four were still very sick with the disease while two were recovering. There was no long-term follow-up so it is not known how long the virus may remain in semen or if men can spread it to their partners during sex. The results contrast with a study of 34 Chinese men with COVID-19 published last month in the journal Fertility and Sterility. U.S. and Chinese researchers found no evidence of virus in semen tested between eight days and almost three months after diagnosis.
More from the New York Times: If semen tests positive for the coronavirus, that does not mean that infectious virus is present, said Dr. Stanley Perlman, a professor of microbiology, immunology and pediatrics at the University of Iowa, who was not involved in the study. … If scientists were to find infectious virus present in semen, there may be implications for the safety of oral sex and the handling of semen. Across the world, many fertility clinics have stopped accepting new patients — not only to reduce patient traffic, but also because of concerns that donor sperm might infect women trying to get pregnant. There’s an urgent need for more studies, noted Dr. Amir Kashi of the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran in a paper titled, “Covid-19 and Semen: An Unanswered Area of Research.”
Regardless of whether it can be transmitted through semen, COVID-19 can be spread through kissing and other close contact — as well as rimming — which is why health experts have advised against hooking up during the outbreak.