The Very Important Reason The CDC Is Collecting Semen

Photographed by Kate Anglestein.
We know now that the Zika virus can be transmitted sexually, but researchers still aren't sure how long that's possible after infection. According to CNN, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is turning to current Zika patients for help: by asking men with a history of Zika to donate their semen in the name of medical research.

CNN reports that, so far, 40 men with Zika have volunteered to participate. They've signed on to send in about a dozen donations every other week for six months after their initial infection. The CDC's goal is to acquire 210 more volunteers.

So far, there have been about 1300 reported cases of Zika in the U.S., including 346 infections among pregnant women, according to the latest numbers from the CDC. Zika virus, which is spread mostly by mosquitoes, can cause fever, rash, and joint pain in some people, but for most it is a mild illness. However, the worrying part of it is the risk of birth defects for babies born to women who were infected while pregnant.

The CDC currently advises men who have experienced symptoms of Zika to use condoms or abstain from sex entirely for up to six months. (It is unclear if infected women can spread the virus via sex.) But, these guidelines are based on a very small study. Hopefully, this new research should shed some needed light on the risks of transmission and how long they last.
Advertisement

More from Wellness

Ashley Graham is breaking barriers. She's the first plus-sized model to cover the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and she's served as our workout ...
Julie Krause writes about all things mom, parenting, and relationships at her blog, Baby Rabies, and she has some words of advice for the non-pregnant ...
Let me introduce you all to the love of my life, Sienna Harper Gernon! I've never felt love like it! @justchrisgernon thank you so much, you have been...
When it comes to rock climbing, an all-or-nothing approach is key
A 14-year-old Native American girl was sexually assaulted by a male student. According to a report by Buzzfeed News, she was suspended from school for 10...
Aside from encountering creeps and starting conversations that just don't go anywhere, one major problem online daters face is catfishing. According to a...
It's official — fall is here, and we're already knee-deep in pumpkin-flavored everything. Break out of your PSL-laden routine (while still celebrating ...
(Paid Content) In this age of label-aversion, hookup apps, and social-media flirtation (nothing says romance like a DM, right?), few would disagree that ...
Let us all hold hands and increase the peace. This Monday, September 26, a rare event is happening in the skies. The radiant Sun and broad-minded Jupiter ...
In a move so fitting that we can’t believe we haven’t seen it already, ASOS teamed up with running shoe company Saucony to create glitter running ...
Ragazzi mi state seguendo in tanti e vorrei ringraziarvi e scusarmi se non riesco a rispondere a tutti...vi proprio ho una foto che mi ricorda tutte ...
A version of this story originally appeared on Shape. When it comes to female pleasure, there's enough misinformation out there to fill a book. One of ...
What a week it’s been, stargazers. First, we were told our Zodiac signs have changed, that there's now a 13th sign, and that apparently everything we ...
No one goes through life trying to be a horrible person. But sometimes, it's a challenge to go that extra mile (or even just a few steps) out of your way...