No, monkeypox is not a 'gay disease' exclusive to LGBT people

No, monkeypox is not a ‘gay disease’ exclusive to LGBT people

Some people on social media have erroneously claimed that monkeypox is a disease restricted to LGBT people. Anyone can contract it through close contact.

The first case of monkeypox in the United States this year was reported on May 18, and hundreds of new cases have been reported worldwide.

Monkeypox is commonly found in Africa, and rare cases in the United States and elsewhere are usually associated with travel to the continent. The disease originates in wild animals such as rodents and primates that live in tropical rainforest climates such as those in central and western Africa.

The World Health Organization’s chief monkeypox expert said she did not expect the hundreds of global cases reported so far to turn into another pandemic, but acknowledged that there were still many unknowns about the disease, including exactly how it spread.

Experts at the World Health Organization say some of the recorded cases are of men who have had sex with men, and they are warning people to be careful.

Many VERIFY viewers have also reached out to ask about monkeypox and its connection to LGBT people.

the question

Is monkeypox a ‘gay disease’ restricted to LGBT people?


the answer

No, the virus is not exclusive to LGBT people. Anyone can get it from close physical contact with an infected person.

what we found

The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if it is not visible), the respiratory tract, or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth). The CDC and the World Health Organization say human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through close physical contact with body fluids, respiratory droplets, skin lesions, or recently contaminated objects.

According to the World Health Organization, most patients who contract monkeypox have fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes. The rash tends to stay focused on the face and extremities but can spread throughout the body in more severe cases.

Dr. Elham Masoudi told VERIFY that monkeypox is rare and anyone can catch it. Al-Masoudi is Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at the University of Kentucky.

“Monkeypox is a disease that does not know gender, race, or sexual orientation,” Masoud said. “This is an infectious disease, and viruses and pathogens don’t care about any of that.”

In a plenary session on May 31, WHO’s Dr Rosamund Lewis said it was important to stress that the vast majority of cases seen in dozens of countries globally are of gay and bisexual men or men who have sex with men.

And she warned that anyone is at risk of contracting the disease, regardless of their sexual orientation. Other experts pointed out that it may be a coincidence that the disease is spreading among gay and bisexual men, saying that it can spread quickly to other groups if not curbed.

“Some cases have been identified by sexual health clinics in LGBT communities. It is important to note that the risk of developing monkeypox is not limited to men who have sex with men. The World Health Organization says that anyone at Close contact with an infectious person at risk.

CDC’s John Brooks, MD, told The Associated Press, “Infectious diseases don’t care about borders or social networks. Some groups may have a higher chance of exposure right now, but in no way is the current risk of exposure to monkeypox.” Exclusively for men who have sex with men.

Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, the United Nations program on HIV/AIDS, urges media, governments and societies to respond with an evidence-based approach that avoids stigma.

“Stigma and blame undermine trust and the ability to respond effectively during an outbreak like this,” Matthew Kavanagh, Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS, said in the statement. “Experience shows that stigmatizing discourse can quickly disrupt evidence-based response by fueling cycles of fear, pushing people away from health services, impeding case identification efforts, and encouraging ineffective punitive measures.”

“This outbreak highlights the urgent need for leaders to strengthen pandemic prevention, including building stronger community-led capacity and human rights infrastructure to support effective and non-stigmatized responses to the pandemic,” the statement said.

There are currently no specific treatments available for monkeypox infection, but outbreaks of monkeypox can be controlled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The smallpox vaccine can be given during an outbreak, and in 2019 the Food and Drug Administration approved a monkeypox vaccine.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

2022-06-02 21:04:49

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