A new study indicates that semen is not a route of transmission of the infection of the monkeypox long-term, so the current recommendation to use a condom for 12 weeks after diagnosis could be lowered at six weeks.
This is the conclusion of a study by the Lluita Foundation against Infections and the Germans Trias Hospital in Badalona (Barcelona), coordinated by Dr. Clara Suñer and published in the journal ‘The Lancet Infectious Diseases’.
The study describes the viral load reduction time in samples taken from different parts of the body of 77 volunteers with the disease, in order to identify its possible routes of infection and assess the isolation measures in place.
The center participated in research checkpoint and the STI Drassanes-Vall d’Hebron unit in Barcelona, as well as the 12 de Octubre hospital in Madrid.
The 77 volunteers diagnosed with mpox (new name for monkeypox) they collected samples of skin lesions, oropharynx, rectum, semen, vagina and dried blood, which were then sent to referral health centres.
With the data collected, the study corroborates that skin lesions are the location of the body withn higher levels of virus and where it replicates most frequently, constituting the most effective route of infection.
Instead, the study finds that semen is not where the virus stays the longest, it is therefore not a long-term route of transmission of the infection.
In this sense, the results indicate that the recommendation current use of condoms to prevent infection during 12 weeks as soon as the disease is diagnosed could be reduced to six weeks.
Currently, the general measures to stop the transmission of the disease consist of isolation of the infected person until the lesions crust off, a period of approximately three weeks, a time that the researchers consider “adequate”.