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Sex and the Spread of Zika

By the end of the summer in 2016, the Zika virus had dominated headlines and spread across the United States, with confirmed cases documented in every one of the 50 states except Alaska.

It is important to know how Zika is affecting the area where you live, where you’ve traveled, where you will travel and the travel history of your sex partner(s).

All of this information can affect your chances of getting Zika.

Many times when people think travel and vaccinations they think that it is only in terms of visiting somewhere outside of the country.

But in 2016, the Zika outbreak was so large that it prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel advisory for pregnant women who were planning to travel to the state of Florida.

This year, the CDC has focused on educating people regarding the spread of Zika through another dangerous way–through sexual transmission.

Zika Can Be Passed Through Sex:

  • Zika can be passed through sex from a person with Zika to his or her partners.
  • Sex includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex and the sharing of sex toys.
  • Zika can be passed through sex even in a committed relationship.
  • The timeframes that men and women can pass Zika through sex are different because Zika virus can stay in semen longer than in other body fluids.

While health officials have known about the risk of sexual transmission, there have been cases of Zika spreading via sexual contact popping of throughout the United States.

How to Protect Yourself During Sex:

  • Condoms can reduce the chance of getting Zika from sex.
  • Condoms include male and female condoms.
  • To be effective, condoms should be used from start to finish, every time during vaginal, anal, and oral sex and the sharing of sex toys
  • Dental dams may also be used for certain types of oral sex (mouth to vagina or mouth to anus).
  • Not sharing sex toys can also reduce the risk of spreading Zika to sex partners.
  • Not having sex eliminates the risk of getting Zika from sex.

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