The outbreak of COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus, is causing significant changes to people’s daily lives. With the cancellation of the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) and an attendee of last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) having contracted the virus, fears that many have about the virus are becoming more and more widespread.
LGBTQ people have legitimate reasons to fear, too. Several members of our communities, especially trans and HIV-positive people, are at a higher risk of contracting and succumbing to it. In fact, people who are immunocompromised – like those living with HIV or AIDS – are considered to be a “top target” of the virus.
Reports have indicated that 40% of those hospitalized with the Coronavirus had a cardiovascular disease or cerebrovascular disease – which people living with HIV are almost twice as likely to develop than those that aren’t.
Don’t go into full panic mode just yet, though. The Kind Clinic in Austin, Texas – “the largest sexual health and wellness provider in Central Texas” believes that Coronavirus still “poses a low risk to the general public.” They have provided tips for preventing the spread or contraction of the virus.
Luckily for us, they come in colorful graphics (and language) that keep LGBTQ people in mind.
The clinic is also providing additional information via their blog regarding the virus. They aren’t a medical facility equipped to deal with the virus, so they suggest getting in contact with your primary care provider or local public health department for further evaluation or treatment. However, Texas residents can contact them via TeleKind if they are unable to make an appointment, or just have questions and concerns.
And since you’re going to ask, Dr. Joshua Khalili of UCLA has told them. that “any type of sex” or sexual contact could potentially transmit the virus, because any contact you have puts you at risk, so keep that in mind.
Here’s the basic run down of the tips:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- A mask is not effective for preventing you from getting the virus.