NEW: CDC says men must wait six months for unprotected sex, even with no Zika symptoms
Women should use safe sex for at least eight weeks
WHO guidelines go further and suggest women use protection for 6 months
If you’re a man who travels to an area with active Zika transmission, you should wait at least six months after exposure to have unprotected sex or try to conceive a baby, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday, even if you never had symptoms of the virus. Women should wait a full eight weeks after exposure.
“The time frames now match, whether you are trying to prevent sexual transmission or protect pregnancy,” said Dr. Denise Jamieson, chief of the CDC’s Women’s Health and Fertility Branch. “We are making it simple.”
The World Health Organization issued similar guidelines in early September, but its advice went further, recommending that women as well as men wait a full six months to conceive a baby or practice unprotected sex.
The updated advice follows numerous case reports showing Zika may hide in semen for up to six months after symptoms begin, which typically include fever, rash, achy joints and muscles and red eyes similar to conjunctivitis.
And then there was the man who gave Zika to his female partner when he didn’t even know that he had it, proving that even people with no symptoms can still be infectious.