The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has again revised its recommendations on how long men who could have been exposed to the Zika virus should wait before trying to conceive, or to have unprotected sex at all. The CDC now says man should wait 6 months—up from 8 weeks—before having sex without a condom even if they have no symptoms. The new guidance is intended to minimize the likelihood of transmitting the virus before or immediately after conception. Fetal exposure to Zika can lead to pregnancy complications and severe birth defects, such as microcephaly. Urgent care clinicians should ask male patients about their recent travel history and advise them accordingly. The CDC defines “possible Zika exposure” as travelling to or living in an area where the virus is spreading actively, such as Puerto Rico, or condomless sex with someone who has travelled to or lived in such an area. While this guidance includes men who are not symptomatic, providers should keep in mind that Zika-like symptoms (eg, fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes) are likely to lead patients to seek help in the urgent care setting.
CDC: Men Should Wait 6 Months to Have Unprotected Sex After Possible Zika Exposure