Do you have monkeypox? CDC advises against sex, but says masturbation 6 feet away or virtual sex reduces risk

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that anyone with monkeypox abstain from sex.

However, the CDC has also provided a range of ways to reduce the risk of transmit the virus during sex, as the country faces a rise in monkeypox infections.

“If you or a partner has monkeypox, the best way to protect yourself and others is to avoid sex of any kind (oral, anal, vaginal) and not kiss or touch each other. the body while you are sick, especially any rash,” the CDC said. “Don’t share things like towels, fetish gear, sex toys, and toothbrushes.”

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Health workers from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene help people register for the monkeypox vaccine at one of the city's vaccination sites on Tuesday, 26 July 2022, in New York.

Health workers from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene help people register for the monkeypox vaccine at one of the city’s vaccination sites on Tuesday, 26 July 2022, in New York.
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The CDC then gave advice on when, where and how a person with monkeypox can have safer sex

“Masturbate together from a distance of at least 6 feet, without touching each other and without touching any rashes,” said the The CDC recommends. “Remember to wash your hands, fetish gear, sex toys, and all fabrics (bedding, towels, clothes) after sex.”

“Consider having sex with your clothes on or covering the areas where the rash is present, reducing skin-to-skin contact as much as possible. If the rash is limited to the genitals or anus, the condoms can help; however, condoms alone are probably not enough to prevent monkeypox.”

People wait to receive the monkeypox vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Manhattan on July 26, 2022, in New York City.

People wait to receive the monkeypox vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Manhattan on July 26, 2022, in New York City.
(Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images)

At the start of the week, the Biden Administration appointed top officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to serve as White House coordinators for the monkeypox outbreak.

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Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Thursday he was declaring a public health emergency over the monkeypox outbreak.

Later Thursday, President Biden tweeted that he remained “committed to our response to monkeypox: accelerating vaccine distribution, expanding testing and educating at-risk communities.”