As CDC issues unprecedented travel warning for a Miami neighborhood after a handful of Zika infections were found in individuals who had been bitten and infected by local mosquitoes, AHF launches new billboard advocacy campaign touting the role of condoms in possible prevention of Zika transmission.
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — On the heels of news from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that for the first time in the continental United States, Zika virus infections have been found in a handful of individuals in Miami—individuals who, according to CNN, “… were found to have been infected with Zika virus after being bitten by local mosquitoes …,” AIDS Healthcare Foundation is rolling out a new Zika prevention awareness billboard campaign in South Florida.
AHF’s billboard campaign, which has been in the works for several weeks, begins today with billboards appearing adjacent to the Miami International Airport as well as in the city of Fort Lauderdale. The campaign touts the role of condoms in the possible prevention of transmission of the Zika virus. The billboard artwork features the horizontal silhouette of an unfurled condom on a white background. Superimposed over the condom is the headline, “Prevents Zika Transmission,” addressing the fact that sexual transmission is one common method of transmission of the virus. The billboard also includes a link to the website: www.useacondom.com.
In fact, until last week when local mosquitoes were first implicated as a vector in new U.S. infections, the Zika cases found in the U.S. had either been found in individuals who had travelled to Zika hot spots in Latin America and elsewhere or were believed to be sexually-transmitted to individuals here in the U.S. by partners who had travelled to such hot spots, areas or zones.
“It is unfortunate, but not wholly unexpected that Zika has now arrived in the U.S. as a mosquito-borne local infection with reports of these new infections found in South Florida last week,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Nevertheless, sexual transmission of the Zika virus remains a significant mode of transmission of this devastating virus. Therefore, any and all methods of preventing the possible transmission of the Zika virus should be promoted and shared with the public as part of a wider public health education and prevention strategy.”