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Have monkeypox? CDC advises no sex, but says masturbation 6 feet apart or virtual sex reduce risk

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

However, the CDC also provided a range of ways to reduce the risk of transmitting 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 do not kiss or touch each other's bodies while you are sick, especially any rash," the CDC said. "Do not share things like towels, fetish gear, sex toys, and toothbrushes."


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

The CDC went on to give advice on when, where and how someone with monkeypox can have safer sex.

"Masturbate together at a distance of at least 6 feet, without touching each other and without touching any rash," the CDC recommends. "Remember to wash your hands, fetish gear, sex toys and any fabrics (bedding, towels, clothing) after having sex."

"Consider having sex with your clothes on or covering areas where rash is present, reducing as much skin-to-skin contact as possible. If the rash is confined to the genitals or anus, condoms may help; however, condoms alone are likely 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.  (Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images)

Earlier this week, the Biden administration named top officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to serve as the White House coordinators to combat the monkeypox outbreak.


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

Later Thursday, President Biden tweeted he remained "committed to our monkeypox response: ramping-up vaccine distribution, expanding testing, and educating at-risk communities."

Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at timothy.nerozzi@fox.com

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