By now, we’ve all heard of Zika, and many of us have learned that it can be sexually transmitted. A new update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hopes to raise awareness of what this means for the spread of the disease, with the most major change being that they want all pregnant people regardless of the gender of their partners to take even more precautions to keep it from taking over.
What you should know about the Zika update:
You can have Zika and not know it.
When we think of scary diseases and illnesses, we think of getting sick and landing in the hospital ASAP. However, the update says that most Zika virus infections appear to be asymptomatic, which means you can have it and not know it. It has to be pretty severe for you to end up in the hospital, so you have to be extra careful to pay attention and read up on Zika.
The update covers all pregnant couples, including pregnant women with female sex partners.
If you’re pregnant and have sex with people who have traveled to an area with active Zika virus transmission, you should practice safer sex and potentially even abstain from sex until the end of the pregnancy. You should also communicate openly with your doctor about the risk, and how you as a couple can best avoid Zika.
Even if pregnancy isn’t an option, the CDC still recommends taking steps to avoid Zika.
At the end of the day, protection is key (though, isn’t it always?!) and if you’ve been somewhere with active Zika transmission, you may want to consider abstaining from sex.
Currently, there is no recommended way to test risk of transmission of Zika via sex.
So your best option is to avoid having sex if you think you may have Zika, no matter how you’re feeling.