Zika virus in Florida prompted a strong public health response, due to its causal association with birth defects. While primarily spread by mosquitos, Zika can be transmitted sexually. The spread of Zika may influence reproductive behaviors among sexually active persons in Florida. This study examined factors associated with willingness to change birth control method use in response to Zika virus among college women and men in Florida. Women and men ages 18–44 at a Florida university (N = 328) were surveyed about Zika knowledge, beliefs about Zika, use of contraceptives and condoms, and socio-demographics between November 2016–April 2017. The outcome variable was willingness to change birth control method were Zika in their area. Logistic regression models in SAS 9.4 were used. Most participants were women (80%), and 47% were 20–22 years old. Only 27% of participants said they would change their birth control method if Zika were in their area. Participants who knew that Zika was sexually transmitted were more likely to be willing to change their birth control method (aOR = 1.71, 95%CI 1.01–2.91). Participants who agreed or strongly agreed that they were fearful of being infected with Zika virus were more likely to be willing to change their birth control methods (aOR = 1.98, 95%CI 1.07–3.67). This study found that, among Florida college students, Zika beliefs and knowledge were associated with a willingness to change birth control method in response to Zika. Understanding the factors that motivate individuals to change reproductive behaviors during an emerging health issue can help tailor preventative messages.
- Birth control
- Zika virus