Adolescents and youth

We don’t know when the pandemic will end, but we know it depends on every person’s contribution in helping stop the spread of the virus. The sacrifices you have made by not seeing your friends and by not going to school for a while, and other activities, are your contributions to fighting the pandemic. By putting societies and economies on hold, we have reduced the ability of the virus to spread through our communities. These defensive measures have helped to limit the damage the virus can cause, and bought us time to learn more about the virus and find solutions so that we can get back to a more familiar way of living. This is why it was possible to reopen schools and businesses in many places. It is important that you continue to practice the recommended measures and encourage your friends to do the same to prevent the situation from getting worse.
There is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through semen or vaginal fluids. However, having sex with someone means that you are very close to them. This puts one person at risk if the other person has COVID-19. Masturbation does not involve another person and carries no risk of COVID-19. Depending on the government guideline, there might be restrictions in place to meet people outside your household, so it is important you follow these guidelines. Your risk of COVID-19 is not increased if you already live in the same household as your sexual partner and you are both taking steps to protect yourself from the virus. Make sure to use condoms and contraception to avoid sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy.
Yes. You can play sports that are in line with the physical distancing measures and movement restrictions that are in place in your country. If you are able to go for a bicycle ride, or if you go to a park or public open space to walk, run or exercise always practice physical distancing and wash your hands with water and soap before you leave, when you get to where you are going, and as soon as you get home.  If water and soap are not immediately available, use alcohol-based hand rub. Being physically active is good for your health, both physical and mental. Set up a regular routine to practice activities or sports that do not require close contact with others every day for 1 hour. You can do individual sports, like jogging, walking, dancing or yoga. There are many options to try. You can set up playground games indoors, such as jump rope and hop-scotch, play with your brothers and sisters, and practice some strength training activities, using improvised weights like bottles full of water or sand. If you have access to the internet, you can also join in online active games or fitness classes, or set up your own online physical exercises with your friends or classmates. Find an activity that is fun, can be done within the restrictions that are in place in your country, and makes you feel good. Do not exercise if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Stay home and rest, seek medical attention and follow the directions of your local health authority.
For people with chronic conditions such as such as asthma, diabetes, TB and HIV the most important thing is to continue your medication as prescribed, attend recommended check-ups and seek medical help if you have new symptoms. Check with your health authorities and health provider if your regular check-ups should be done differently during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some services, such as counselling, may be available remotely. For treatment of clinically stable adolescents with HIV and adolescents with TB and/or other chronic conditions, your health provider should consider multi-month prescriptions and dispensing which will reduce the frequency of your visits to the clinic and ensure continuity of treatment, if movements are disrupted during the pandemic.  Seek advice from your health authorities and health care provider on how to be protected from COVID-19 and continue your treatment as prescribed.
Yes. Infected people in all age groups – including adolescents - can transmit the virus to other people, even if they have mild symptoms or do not feel ill. The virus is spread from person to person through liquid particles such as aerosols (smaller) and droplets (larger) from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks. People can catch COVID-19 if they breathe in these droplets from an adolescent infected with the virus.  Therefore, it is important to stay at least 1 meter away from others. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces. People can then become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Further resources: