This e-mail is being sent as part of a temporary series of messages to deliver Zika-related information during peak mosquito season in Indian Country. 
August 4, 2017
Myth: Zika virus can be passed through sex, but only from an infected man to a female partner. 

This is a myth and is not correct!

Truth: Zika virus does not discriminate! It can be passed through sexual activity, no matter what gender. This means Zika can be passed:
  • from a man to a woman 
  • from a woman to a man
  • from a man to a man
  • from a woman to a woman
Learn more about the sexual transmission of Zika in this week's newsletter's prevention section.
Zika 101Zika101

Learn the TOP FIVE things everyone should know about Zika  HERE
NIHB Resources
Learn more about Tribal Zika Response and Planning at the NIHB Zika Hub

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NIHB main website can be accessed HERE

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In This Newsletter

SexualTransmissionLearn More About the Sexual Transmission of Zika
Although discussing sexual activity can be difficult, preventing sexual transmission of Zika is important and can help protect the entire community and the next generation.  If a pregnant woman becomes infected with Zika, she can transmit the virus to her fetus and the fetus may be born with serious health problems. 

Image courtesy of CDC

Most of us have heard that Zika can be passed through sex, but did you know that Zika can be passed  through several different types of sexual activity, not just intercourse? This includes vaginal, oral, and anal sex and the sharing of sex toys. 

Zika can be passed even in a monogamous relationship. It can be passed even if both partners have been tested for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) .  

Zika can also be passed through sexual activity even if the infected person does not have Zika symptoms. Some people with Zika will never have symptoms but they can still pass the virus. Even for people who do feel sick, Zika can be spread before the symptoms develop and after the symptoms go away. Zika virus can stay in the body for a long time after infection - especially in men's semen. CDC has specific recommendations based on where people travel or live and their pregnancy plans. Learn more  HERE

As seen in the Myth of the Week, located in the sidebar of this newsletter, Zika can be transmitted between partners regardless of gender. This means that both men and women can spread Zika or catch Zika through sexual activity with any partner. 

The following story is an example of how Zika virus can be passed through sexual activity and have implications for a community. 

SteveSteve's Story: Steve returns from a work conference in an area where Zika is being transmitted. He never feels sick, he does not know he should use condoms during sex, and he passes Zika virus to his pregnant wife, Tamara. Their baby is born with microcephaly and other serious disabilities. Tamara likes to sit outside and she does not usually wear mosquito repellent. She gets bitten by a mosquito and that same mosquito bites her neighbor, spreading Zika to another family. The newly infected neighbor may also pass Zika to her own  partner, her unborn child, or others in the community. 

CDC has created general recommendations to help keep families and communities safe. Recommendations are based on risk of Zika exposure and pregnancy status or pregnancy plans. Of course, decisions about reproduction and sexuality are complex and very personal to the individual. You can learn more about CDC's recommendations HERE

Using a  male condom,*  female condom,* or  dental damcorrectly, every time, and from start to finish can reduce the risk of sexual transmission. Abstaining from sexual activity can eliminate the risk of sexual transmission. 
*Be advised that the links in this paragraph contain graphic images demonstrating how to use these barrier methods. These images are intended for adults and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Around half of all pregnancies are unplanned, so even couples not trying to get pregnant can have a baby affected by Zika virus. Couples who don't want to have a baby right now may want to consider using a reliable method of birth control. However, although many birth control methods can prevent an unplanned pregnancy, only barrier methods such as condoms can also prevent Zika transmission. Learn more about birth control methods HERE or talk with a healthcare provider.

Learn more about the sexual transmission of Zika from the CDC  HERE 

View an NIHB webinar about sexual transmission of Zika virus  HERE
Zika News
FloridaCaseFlorida Announces First Sexually-Transmitted Case of Zika in 2017
On August 1, Florida officials announced the state's first known case of sexually-transmitted Zika this year. A resident of Pinellas County tested positive for Zika after the patient's partner returned from Cuba. The partner also tested positive for Zika virus and developed Zika symptoms. 

In the United States last year, CDC reports there were at least 46 known cases of sexually transmitted Zika virus infection. Summer is peak mosquito season and it remains to be seen how many cases will occur in 2017. 

As we learn in Steve's story (above), sexual transmission can have serious consequences for families and communities. Sexual transmission is happening to real people and families in the United States It is important to know how to to stay safe and healthy. 

Read the Florida Department of Health's news statement HERE

Read an ABC news article about the case HERE
 Webinars, Trainings, Events
TRAININGSNo new trainings this week, but check out the NIHB Zika webinars and archive HERE

If there are topics you would like to learn more about in the future, please email NIHB HERE