Let’s talk about sex: Why the Zika outbreak is really about reproductive rights for Latin…

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PLoS Translational Global Health
Translational Global Health facilitates the translation of findings from basic science to practical applications in Global Health practice and, thus, meaningful health outcomes for diverse populations and societies. Translational Global Health is an independent blog on the PLOS BLOGS Network, focusing on the field, concepts and challenges of Global Health. Dr Alessandro Demaio and his team of regular guest bloggers bring honest, pragmatic discussion – with a special interest in Non-Communicable Disease and Global Health 2.0. PLoS Translational GH Blog content is shared via GHhub with permission.

Sarah Borg is a junior medical doctor trained in Adelaide, Australia with a Master of Public Health from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is currently working as an intern in the Reproductive Health and Research department at the World Health Organization in Geneva. For our blog she applies her learnings to the current debate surrounding the spread of the Zika virus in Latin-America.  Health Ministries of Latin American countries have recommended that women avoid pregnancy until 2018 due to the presumed prenatal consequences of Zika virus. This is despite a lack of sexual education in schools, limited contraceptive access, and strict abortion laws. Women attempting to adhere to this health policy are faced with cultural, religious, financial and legal barriers. There are a growing number of Zika virus cases, currently estimated at around 1.5 million, with the majority concentrated in Brazil.

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Let’s talk about sex: Why the Zika outbreak is really about reproductive rights for Latin…