Revised guidance from the CDC recommends that men avoid sex for six months after a possible exposure.
Attention men who may have been exposed to the Zika virus: you need to wait six months before having sex again, according to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And that applies even if you don’t have any symptoms.
Before, the CDC had recommended that long wait time only for men with Zika symptoms, whereas those who may have been exposed to Zika but didn’t develop symptoms were told to just hold for about eight weeks. The CDC has published new guidance since then, indicating that the Zika virus can remain in semen longer than experts had thought, and therefore can be spread by men who don’t have symptoms.
The Zika virus, which is spread by mosquitoes and has been reported in South America and Central America mostely, can cause birth defects such as microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with heads that are abnormally small.
The statement reads: “CDC today announced updates to its interim guidance for pre-pregnancy counseling and prevention of sexual transmission of Zika based on ongoing assessment of available data, primarily extending the timeframe for men with possible Zika exposure but no Zika symptoms to wait before attempting pregnancy with their partner and extending the time for use of condoms by these men to protect against sexual transmission of Zika virus infection. The updated interim guidance includes the following new recommendations:
“Women and men who are planning to become pregnant in the near future should consider avoiding nonessential travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission.
“The amount of time to wait to attempt conception for couples in which the man has had possible Zika exposure but no Zika symptoms has increased from at least 8 weeks (previous guidance) to at least 6 months after last possible exposure (updated guidance).
“The amount of time to use a condom to protect against transmission of Zika virus infection or not have sex for men with possible Zika exposure but without symptoms has increased from at least 8 weeks to at least 6 months after last possible exposure.”