Zika Might Be Spread Through Blow Jobs Too

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Experts know that the mosquito-borne Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted, which is why they advise couples trying to get pregnant to wait eight weeks after exposure before having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Yes, even oral. And now, there’s evidence that Zika may actually spread through blow jobs.

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine describes the case of a French man who had symptoms of Zika (fever, headache, and rash) during a February visit to Rio de Janeiro. He felt fine when he got back to Paris and he and his female partner had sex multiple times between February 11 and February 20, but ejaculation only occurred during oral sex. (They were using oral sex as a form of birth control.)

The woman started feeling sick on February 20, and when they were tested for Zika on the 23rd, their doctors found that the man had high levels of the virus in his semen and urine, but zero in his saliva or blood. The woman had the virus in her saliva and urine, plus antibodies in her blood. A vaginal swab was negative. (Zika can survive longer in semen than in other bodily fluids.)

An expert from Vanderbilt University Medical School who didn’t treat the patients believes oral sex is most likely the way the virus spread, though it could also have traveled in pre-ejaculate during sex — but, again, the woman’s vaginal swab didn’t have signs of the virus.

In conclusion: For couples who are pregnant or want to get pregnant and have been exposed to Zika, this is further evidence that it’s blow jobs with condoms or no blow jobs at all. But thus far there’s zero reports of Zika being spread sexually from a woman to a male partner, so peaches are still on the menu.