CDC Updates Guidance for Post-Zika Virus Exposure Counseling in Males

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The CDC now also recommends that men should consider using condoms or abstaining from sex for at least 3 months following the onset of Zika-related symptoms.
The CDC now also recommends that men should consider using condoms or abstaining from sex for at least 3 months following the onset of Zika-related symptoms.

In an updated interim guidance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that couples wait at least 3 months before attempting to conceive after possible Zika virus exposure in the male, according to a new report published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

This is an update to previous CDC interim guidance that was released in October 2016. In their last interim guidance, the recommendations made stated that men with possible Zika virus exposure should wait at least 6 months after symptom onset if they were symptomatic or 6 months after their last possible Zika virus exposure if they were asymptomatic before trying to conceive.

For couples not planning to conceive, the CDC now also recommends that men should consider using condoms or abstaining from sex for at least 3 months following the onset of Zika-related symptoms or from their last possible Zika virus exposure if they are asymptomatic. This will minimize the risk for sexually transmitting the virus.

All other guidance from the 2016 recommendations remains unchanged including those for men with possible Zika virus exposure whose partner is pregnant. The CDC continues to recommend that couples in this scenario be “advised to consistently and correctly use condoms during sex or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy.”

Reference

Polen KD, Gilboa SM, Hills S, et al. Update: interim guidance for preconception counseling and prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus for men with possible Zika virus exposure - United States, August 2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67(31):868-871.

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