By Katie Deighton, Senior Reporter

August 5, 2016 | 2 min read

As the 2016 Olympic Games kick off tonight (5 August), healthcare brand Durex has teamed up with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) to make the world aware that Zika is a sexually transmitted disease through new campaign #DontShareZika.

Created by Premier, a new animated film released today plays on the idea that while people are now sharing more than ever before through social media, those visiting a Zika prevalent area should avoid sharing the disease by using a condom.

Durex hopes the spot will be shared across social networks accompanied by the hashtag #DontShareZika. The company has also pledged to distribute three million free condoms in Brazil.

The campaign follows an update from the World Health Organisation that confirmed Zika can be transmitted sexually, as well as via infected mosquitos. Unlike the standard trope of STIs, the disease can easily be spread between those in monogamous relationships, and can be passed on up to eight weeks after a person has visited a high risk area.

Volker Sydo, global director of the Durex, said: "As the world’s number one sexual wellbeing brand we have a responsibility to make people aware of this STI, to help people to stay healthy and to prevent the sexual transmission of the virus."

Tewodros Melesse, director general of the IPPF, added: "Our aim is to ensure all people have access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. At the moment, many people still don’t realise that Zika can be transmitted sexually.

"Communicating this and enabling people to protect themselves and their partners is critical, so we welcome #DontShareZika and Durex’s free condom giveaway in Brazil."

As the 2016 Olympics prepares to officially kick off this evening (5 August), to date several athletes have pulled out of the tournament citing concerns over the Zika virus, including top golfers such as Rory McIlroy, and Jason Day.

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