Can SARS-CoV-2 be found in semen?

Yes. The coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, has been found in semen samples.

In January and February 2020, researchers collected semen samples from 38 men in China who had COVID-19. They discovered that samples from six of the men did test positive for the coronavirus.

Four of the men were just developing COVID-19 when their samples were taken. The other two were recovering.

The findings were published in May in JAMA Network Open.

The authors noted that their study was small, and future research might tell us more about the risks.

Scientists are trying to learn as much as they can about COVID-19 as quickly as possible. Because we still don’t know to what extent SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted through semen, safe sex is extremely important.

We do know that the virus can be found in saliva, in feces, and on surfaces. If you are having sex, make sure you do the following:

For more details on safe sex during the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here.

You can learn more about COVID and sexuality with these links:

Sexual Behavior in China Has Changed During COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19: Only 40% of UK Adults Sexually Active While Social Distancing



Perry, Melissa J., et al.

“It is currently unknown whether SARS‐CoV‐2 is viable in semen or whether COVID‐19 damages spermatozoa”

(First published: May 29, 2020)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

“What you should know about COVID-19 to protect yourself and others”

(Fact sheet. June 1, 2020)

JAMA Network Open

Li, Diangeng, PhD, et al.

“Clinical Characteristics and Results of Semen Tests Among Men With Coronavirus Disease 2019”

(Research Letter. May 7, 2020)

Medscape Medical News

McCall, Becky

“SARS-CoV-2 in Semen of COVID-19 Patients?”

(May 7, 2020)

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