The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that all individuals who had sex with a partner who is or may be infected with the Zika virus should undergo testing.
This test is also for all pregnant women and other individuals who are in Zika zones and exhibit symptoms of the virus.
If we are going to stop the spread of this disease, we are going to need better access to Zika testing for anyone who is sexually active in a Zika zone.
This statement is being claimed by Kelly McBride Folkers, Arthur L. Caplan, and Lee Igel in an opinion article published in CNN.
At present, those who do not show any symptoms — men, women who are not pregnant, and children — do not need to get the test. However, CDC said that this is not the best strategy if we wish to manage the virus.
Zika testing isn’t being offered as an essential preventive health service to every American right now. Nor should it be, at least not yet. It would be a waste of medical resources to include a virus test with every sexually transmitted disease panel, especially for people outside areas of active transmission.
According to recent studies, the virus can be detected in semen for up to six months since the infection. Aside from the Zika virus, Ebola virus can also be seen through the semen.
If men can be carriers of Zika, why aren’t they being recommended for testing in active Zika zones, too? Despite the fact that Zika is becoming a public health crisis for the general population, pregnant women and their doctors are being asked to bear the burden of preventing its spread. And if we are going to prevent the outbreak from spreading further, shouldn’t testing and counseling be offered to anyone who might be at risk as part of a panel of tests for sexually transmitted infections?
Unfortunately, local- and federal-level government agencies in the USA have been skirting around addressing Zika as an STD.
CDC suggests that men who have been infected with the virus should wait at least 6 months before engaging in unprotected sex.
Zika is an STD, one that can be passed on to partners and developing infants just like HIV, chlamydia and syphilis.
It isn’t the first STD that the experts have been particular around, and it won’t be the last.
What is being suggested is that a policy should be established to address the current outbreak and for the long run.
There have been nine cases of confirmed Zika virus in the Philippines so far, with Iloilo having the highest number of cases.