COVID-19 revelations continue to baffle the world. The latest development comes from a small group of people involved in a clinical test. The tests showed the presence of COVID-19 in the semen of the participants who had earlier recovered from coronavirus.
This has led to the assertion that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be present in the semen of patients who have the coronavirus, as well as those recovering from it. The study was published by the JAMA Network Open.
Out of the fifty men that were enrolled in the study’s testing, 38 provided a semen sample for the clinical test. Twenty-three of the participants who provided a semen sample recovered from their COVID-19 infection. Two of these recovered patients showed the presence of COVID-19 in their semen. This result was not only revealing but quite alarming.
The other 15 patients who were at the critical stage of infection also had four patients with the COVID-19 in their semen.
With regards to the study size being small, the scientists who carried out this trial agreed that more research still needs to be done. According to the researchers, “This study is limited by the small sample size and the short subsequent follow-up. Therefore, further studies are required with respect to the detailed information about virus shedding, survival time, and concentration in semen.”
Dr. Lauren Streicher, founder and medical director of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause, stated that there’s not enough information yet to determine if COVID-19 can be sexually transmitted. Her argument was quite interesting as she stated, “Being identified in sperm is not the same as it being a sexually transmitted infection. The only way to know that, after intercourse, is to also identify it in vaginal tissues or cervical tissues by culture.
You can’t give someone a sexually-transmitted infection like gonorrhea or chlamydia, for example, from a respiratory root, explained Streicher. So if two people are together and one person gives it to the other one, you know it has to be sexual since there’s no other way to get it.
“When you have the coronavirus, and if someone’s having sex and the woman gets it, did she get it because he was breathing and coughing on her, or did she get it because he had it in his semen? Unless you identify it in her vaginal tissues and secretions, who knows?
But just because it hasn’t been determined yet, doesn’t mean there’s zero chance of the coronavirus being transmitted sexually.”
Streicher later gave this hilarious advice that in addition to masking their face, they need to mask his penis.”
It will turn out to be quite a revelation if COVID-19 happens to be sexually transmitted just like HIV. Due to the small study sample, for now, there can’t be a determination of how widespread or rare it is to find COVID-19 in semen. So when it comes to sex, safety might be the new rule of engagement.
A Nigerian research scientist also weighed inon the matter. Dr. Ibraheem Abioye, said, “Finding virus components in semen may not necessarily mean that the virus is present in semen, and may not mean that the disease can be transmitted by sexual intercourse.
“Out of the abundance of caution, I would say that we don’t know enough, but we currently believe that there is no reason to fret.”
Abioye said the study calls for more research, adding, “For one, it is necessary to reassure the public, and to better clarify the transmission of the disease.