Ivan Rodriguez, to Raise Awareness of Threat of Zika Virus in Puerto Rico


Photo by MLB.com

Rodriguez to voice a radio commercial encouraging condom use to help fight the spread of Zika virus in Puerto Rico.

Ewing, N.J. – Church & Dwight Co. Inc., the maker of Trojan™ Brand Condoms, and the National Coalition of STD Directors announced today a partnership with Major League Baseball player, Ivan Rodriguez to raise awareness around how to prevent the spread of the Zika virus in Puerto Rico. Rodriguez, a native Puerto Rican, will voice a radio commercial in Spanish set to air across Puerto Rico, highlighting the importance of condom use in combatting the spread of Zika.

The commercial, part of the brand’s ongoing effort to combat the Zika outbreak, clarifies Zika, while primarily spread by mosquitos, can also be sexually transmitted by an infected man to his partner. In the radio spot, Rodriguez reinforces the importance of wearing a condom to avoid the consequences of Zika for pregnant women and those who may become pregnant while infected. Infection with Zika during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. The commercial will air across 118 radio stations throughout Puerto Rico this summer.

“Zika is an incredibly harmful disease and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), could infect as many as 1 in 4 Puerto Ricans by the end of this year. We are proud to partner with Ivan Rodriguez as we continue our ongoing efforts to call attention to the fact that unlike many other mosquito-borne diseases, Zika can be transmitted through sexual contact,” said Bruce Weiss, Vice President of Marketing for Trojan™ Brand Condoms. “We are committed to investing in sexual health and raising awareness around the importance of using a condom each and every time during sex. To protect against Zika virus, this is especially important for couples who are pregnant or may become pregnant. A man may transmit Zika to his pregnant partner, even if he does not have symptoms at the time or if his symptoms have gone away. Condoms can protect a pregnant woman from getting Zika from sex. ”

“While I played Major League Baseball in the U.S. for more than 20 years, Puerto Rico will always be my home. I was shocked to hear the alarming rate at which the Zika virus is spreading across the territory,” said Ivan Rodriguez. “I am honored to partner with Trojan™ to help raise awareness around the importance of protection for those that live a sexually active life. The consequences of contracting Zika are devastating for pregnant women, and I want to encourage Puerto Ricans to understand that aside from abstinence, there is no better way to protect against giving or getting Zika from sex, than using a condom.”trojan

In May, the maker of Trojan™ Brand Condoms donated more than 150,000 condoms to aid the CDC Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) efforts to help prevent the spread of Zika virus to women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, because Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. Trojan™ Brand Condoms will be included in Zika Prevention Kits being distributed in areas of high risk including the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa as well as the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

NCSDZika virus is generally spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito, but it can also be passed during sex by a man who has Zika to his partner1. Based on recent evidence, sexual transmission of the virus may be more common than previously thought2. Men and women who live in or travel to an area with Zika and who are concerned about trying to get pregnant, should talk to their healthcare provider. CDC recommends pregnant couples with male partners who live in or travel to areas with Zika, take steps to protect their pregnancy. These couples should use a condom every time they have sex or not have sex during the pregnancy. To be effective, condoms must be used correctly from start to finish, every time during vaginal, anal, and oral (mouth-to-penis) sex3.

In addition to helping combat the spread of Zika virus, the maker of Trojan™ Brand Condoms is committed to investing in public health efforts to support sexual health. Last year, Trojan announced the launch of a 10-year partnership with the National Coalition of STD Directors to donate more than 1,000,000 Trojan brand condoms to health departments across the country every year for 10 years.

More information about the Zika virus and sexual transmission can be found on CDC’s website (http://www.cdc.gov/zika/transmission/sexual-transmission.html).