Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon
Join and support LGBT+ journalism

Join

and support
LGBT+ journalism

Health

Scientists find coronavirus in semen, suggesting it could be transmitted through sex

Josh Milton May 8, 2020
Male Gay Couple Lying In Bed At Home Checking Mobile Phones Together coronavirus semen

(Stock photo via Envato Elements)

Coronavirus might be lurking in semen, researchers in China reported Thursday (May 7).

Labs drenched in hard-lighting across the world are scrambling to understand SARS-COV-2, the delicate but deadly coronavirus strain, and they might be one step closer.

Researchers in China reported that scraps of the novel virus may linger in semen, although the paper, published in JAMA Network Open, a peer-reviewed open-access medical journal, does not categorically prove coronavirus can be sexually transmitted.

Doctors traced sperm samples from 38 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, aged between 15 to 59. The study was conducted at Shangqiu Municipal Hospital in the Henan Province in central China.

Coronavirus material found in 16 per cent of patient’s semen, study shows. 

Researchers detected genetic material from the coronavirus in six subject’s semen samples, around 16 per cent.

With a pad-locked economy, a topsy-turvy road to recovery and a creeping death toll, it truly seems that nothing is sacred anymore.

Dr Weiguo Zhao of the Eighth Medical Center of Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing and Dr Shixi Zhang of the Shangqiu Municipal Hospital in Henan, noted that subjects varied in their rates of illness.

Four of the subjects, researchers said, “were at the acute stage of infection,” while two were recovering, “which is particularly noteworthy”.

“The survival of SARS-CoV-2 in a recovering patient’s semen maintains the likelihood to infect others,” Zhang wrote in the paper.

This opens up the possibility that one route of infection may be through sexual contact, although this was not confirmed in the paper

Public health experts are still scrambling to understand the coronavirus, and the research by Zhao and Zhang’s team could be yet another plank in pinpointing how the virus acts.

As a result, British scientists are urging Chinese researchers to continue delving into whether coronavirus might be sexually transmitted. Some have urged those who have tested positive for COVID-19 to abstain from sex or use condoms.

It had been 16 days since one of the patients had first shown symptoms, according to a chart featured in Zhao and Zhang’s study.

Allan Pacey, professor of Andrology at Sheffield University, told The Sun that further research must be conducted before any conclusions are drawn on the elusive virus.

“This opens up the possibility that one route of infection may be through sexual contact, although this was not confirmed in the paper,” he said.

More: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Health, relationships, science, Sex, study

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon