Athletes staying in the Olympic Village apparently have lots of sex and large quantities of condoms have been ubiquitous at every Olympic and Paralympic Games since 1992. This year, the Olympic committee is sending a record 450,000 condoms, including for the first time 100,000 female condoms.
This is a good thing, considering the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recommend those traveling to Rio, either to compete or watch the games, use condoms consistently while there. Because Zika can be transmitted through sex and can remain in the body for weeks after infection, people should continue to use condoms for at least 8 weeks after returning to their home country.
The hundreds of athletes representing Team USA are covered while in Rio, but what about when they return to the US?
There are already 10 locally acquired cases of Zika in a neighborhood in Miami, Florida with more expected as the summer continues on. Public health officials now have more information about how the virus is transmitted between sexual partners and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently recommends women and men wait 6 months after Zika virus infection or possible exposure before becoming pregnant. The CDC has included both male and female condoms in “Zika prevention kits” they’ve made available to those living in Puerto Rico, where Zika infection has already reached epidemic proportions, Washington, D.C., and soon Florida.
Luckily, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare also has us covered. Thanks to the healthcare law all 18 methods of FDA approved family planning for women are covered by most insurance plans without out of pocket costs, even over-the-counter methods like the female condom, with a prescription from a doctor. So whether you will be getting “down and dirty” in the Olympic Village (to quote Hope Solo) or just plan to “Olympics and chill” – be sure to protect yourself!
If you are charged for your birth control CoverHer might be able to help. To see our online resources and sample appeal letters visit www.coverher.org, or contact us at CoverHer@nwlc.org, or 1-877-745-5487 and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.