Li D, Jin M, Bao P, Zhao W, Zhang S. Clinical Characteristics and Results of Semen Tests Among Men With Coronavirus Disease 2019. JAMA Network Open. 2020;3(5):e208292. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.8292
May 7, 2020
In this cohort study, we found that SARS-CoV-2 can be present in the semen of patients with COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 may still be detected in the semen of recovering patients. Owing to the imperfect blood-testes/deferens/epididymis barriers, SARS-CoV-2 might be seeded to the male reproductive tract, especially in the presence of systemic local inflammation. Even if the virus cannot replicate in the male reproductive system, it may persist, possibly resulting from the privileged immunity of testes. So far, researchers have found 27 viruses associated with viremia in human semen. But the presence of viruses in semen may be more common than currently understood, and traditional non–sexually transmitted viruses should not be assumed to be totally absent in genital secretions.5,6 Studies on viral detection and semen persistence are beneficial to clinical practice and public health, especially concerning viruses that could cause high mortality or morbidity, such as SARS-CoV-2.
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.
If it could be proved that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted sexually in future studies, sexual transmission might be a critical part of the prevention of transmission, especially considering the fact that SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the semen of recovering patients.
SHINE SA will now temporarily provide a full 28-day supply of Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) medication in place of the usual five-day starter pack. This measure has been put in place with the assistance of SA Health to help limit movement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, clients received a five-day HIV PEP starter pack and then the remaining medication after a follow-up appointment. Clients can now call SHINE SA for a telehealth appointment where our team will guide clients through the process including supply of the medications and blood tests. Follow-up care arrangements will remain in place.
What is PEP?
PEP is a four week long course of medication taken to reduce the risk of HIV infection. It needs to be initiated within 72 hours of possible contact with HIV in order to help prevent the chance of infection. Exposure can occur through unprotected sex or the sharing of needles and other injection equipment.
It’s important that PEP is accessed as soon as possible after you think you may been exposed to HIV. If you are outside of the time-frame you can still contact your local GP or SHINE SA for further assistance.
What are the most common reasons for needing PEP?
Sex without a condom or sex where a condom broke or slipped off, with a person who has, or might have, HIV.
Sharing needles or syringes with a person who has, or might have, HIV.
How can I find out more?
The PEP Hotline is available 24 hours a day on 1800 022 026. The Registered Nurse on the PEP hotline will help assess your needs and indicate where to access PEP near you.
To speak to SHINE SA about accessing PEP call 8300 5300.
To learn more about PEP you can visit the SAMESH website or call 7099 5300.
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), March 30th 2020
From 1 April 2020 Truvada for HIV treatment and for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) will no longer be available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
There are alternatives to Truvada for PrEP in Australia.
Community members eligible for PrEP can access generic versions of Truvada supplied by Apotex, Mylan and Lupin Generic Health. The drugs manufactured by these three suppliers contain the same active ingredients as Truvada.
In addition, from October 2020 Atripla will be delisted. A generic equivalent of Atripla has been approved by the PBS for community members who wish to continue using Atripla.
We encourage you to talk to your prescribing doctor if you want more information about these changes.
For more information, visit the following websites:
New strategies and approaches are needed to address the sexual health needs of middle-aged heterosexuals starting new relationships, research published in Sexually Transmitted Infections suggests.
The UK study involved men and women aged between 40 and 59 years with, or considering, new sexual partners after the break-up of a long-term relationship. In-depth interviews showed that beliefs about sexual risk were frequently based on past rather than current circumstances and that individuals often felt that existing sexual health services were geared towards the needs of younger people.
For people living with HIV, sexual adjustment after diagnosis is affected by fears of transmitting the virus and of possible rejection by sexual partners, new qualitative research shows. Healthy sexual adjustment over time is facilitated by partner acceptance; peer, community and professional support; and up-to-date knowledge of HIV transmission, including U=U.
Barriers to healthy sexual adjustment include the persistence of undue fears of transmission and rejection long after diagnosis, which may result in avoiding sex or pairing it with drugs and alcohol. Based on these findings, Dr Ben Huntingdon and colleagues at the University of Sydney propose a new model of sexual adjustment to HIV, published in the BMC Infectious Diseases journal.
Thirty participants (19 male, 11 female) out of 45 PLWH who agreed to be contacted completed the interview and questionnaire as part of the study.