Rio 2016: How To Avoid Zika, Unsafe Sex, And Other Emergencies At The Summer Olympics

Rio 2016: How To Avoid Zika, Unsafe Sex, And Other Emergencies At The Summer Olympics

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You’re reading an article from our Gay Guide to the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics! You can see the rest of guide articles here.

If you’re traveling to the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, chances are you might need some help. After all, even though Rio de Janeiro is a nice city and welcoming to LGBTQ people, it still has pesky mosquitos, criminals and emergencies like any world city. Here’s some advice for a happy, healthy stay.


ZIKA: The mosquito-borne virus can cause birth-defects as well as mild fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes; others may remain asymptomatic.

In addition to following CDC Precautionary Guidelines, you should bring mosquito repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol; you can also purchase permethrin-treated clothing to ward off mosquitoes. Sleeping in screened and air-conditioned rooms is a good idea too.

A doctor can test you for Zika upon return. If you’re unsure whether you have the virus, use condoms for at least six months until you are tested to avoid transmitting it to others.


Many gay bars and local clinics offer free condoms. Though there are many pharmacies throughout the city, Drogaria Pacheco has convenient locations in Copacabana and Ipanema. While pharmacies may carry the morning after pill, anti-retroviral treatments and other HIV/AIDS medications, Pre-Exposure Prophylactics (PrEP) may be difficult to obtain. You should replenish any prescriptions before leaving the states.


Clinica Galdino Campos (located at Av. NS Copacabana 492 in Copacabana) offers multi-lingual physicians, outpatient calls and works with most international health and travel insurance plans.

If you need an ambulance or police officer, remember that most service operators speak Portuguese. For an Ambulance dial 192, for police dial 190 and for robberies, dial tourist police at 2332-4924.

You can hit up the U.S. Embassy in Rio if you lose your passport, are arrested, seriously injured, victimized by a crime, or need funds from home. The embassy is located at Av. Pres. Wilson, 147 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20030-020, Brazil or call them at (55-21) 3823-2000.

(featured image via Delfino Francelino de Mattos)

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