Leading sexual wellbeing brand Durex and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) have joined forces to launch #DontShareZika.
It is a global campaign to raise awareness of the Zika virus, educate about its status as a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and provide direct support by handing out millions of free condoms.
The move follows the update by the World Health Organization (WHO), confirming that in addition to being spread by infected mosquitoes, Zika can also be transmitted sexually.
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This means that everyone – including people in a monogamous relationship – may be at risk from the STI if they, or their partner, have visited an affected area and been bitten by an infected mosquito.
As an STI, the Zika virus has the potential to travel and spread between people who may not even realise they are infected.
In response, Durex has created the #DontShareZika video to educate that the Zika virus can be passed between couples during unprotected sex, and committed to a giveaway of three million free condoms in Brazil.
WHO recommends that men and women returning from an area where Zika is circulating should practice safer sex, including through the correct and consistent use of condoms, for at least eight weeks after leaving an affected area, even if they don’t have symptoms.
At a time when Brazil is expecting as many as a million extra visitors from across the globe, the #DontShareZika campaign aims to spread this important message as widely as possible to limit the risk of further infections.
#DontShareZika follows recent work by Durex lobbying for the world’s first safe sex emoji designed to help young people discuss safe sex. Both initiatives are part of Durex’s efforts for better sexual health and education globally.
“As the world’s number one sexual wellbeing brand we have a responsibility to make people aware of this STI, to help people to stay healthy and to prevent the sexual transmission of the virus.” commented the global director of the brand, Volker Sydow.
Durex is calling for people to support the campaign and help share a message of protection and prevention faster than this STI, Zika, can be spread, by sharing the informative video and using the hashtag #DontShareZika.