Ireland's 'Play it Safe' campaign will see sexual health protection packs, including informational leaflets and free condoms, distributed to pharmacies across Ireland.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) have launched a new campaign for young people in Ireland which aims to "support them in safeguarding their sexual health and wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic."

According to the HSE, sexual health protection packs, including an informational leaflet and a free condom, will be distributed to pharmacies across Ireland as part of the "Play it Safe" campaign.

The leaflets will offer advice on how to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus through sexual activity and encourage young people to use technology-led alternatives like phone sex or internet sex to avoid close contact. 

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The campaign is urging young people only to be sexually active with people in their own household and to limit sexual activity to as few partners as possible if they decide to be sexually active outside their household.

According to The Irish Independent, the leaflet says in part: "If you decide to be sexually active with someone living outside of your household, limit it to as few partners as possible, preferably one regular partner."

It adds: "Consider masturbation or remote sexual activity (eg, online) as an alternative to physical sexual activity with others." 

The HSE additionally advises people to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds before and after having sexual activity. 

The HSE is also advising couples to avoid sexual activity, including kissing, if either partner displays any symptoms of COVID-19. 

The new leaflets will also include information on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in a bid to curb the spread of STIs. 

The pamphlets also include information on contraception to simultaneously reduce the risk of STIs and unplanned pregnancies, while the HSE will also share information on drugs that can potentially prevent the spread of STIs like HIV. 

You can read more about the Play it Safe campaign from the HSE and the IPU.

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