What is Monkeypox?
A rare condition known as monkeypox is brought on by infection with the monkeypox virus. The virus, which goes by the moniker monkeypox, was first identified in 1958 in monkeys. It is thought that throughout central and western Africa, the virus naturally lives and reproduces in rodents. Monkeypox was first discovered in humans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970; it has since spread to other nations in central and western Africa.
In the past, outbreaks have mainly affected a limited number of people who live in isolated hunting settlements in the African rainforest. Monkeypox outbreaks have occurred often during the past fifty years, including one that occurred in the United States in 2003 and was linked to Gambian giant rats brought in by an exotic pet dealer. Visit the monkeypox page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for further details.
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So Why is Monkeypox Making Headlines Now?
It is estimated that there were over 200 confirmed and probable cases of monkeypox in Europe, North America, Israel, and Australia in May of 2022. In all but one instance, the victims were male; many of them were members of the gay and bis*xual communities. As far as can be determined, no one has perished from the present epidemic.
Exactly How does Monkeypox Spread?
The primary mode of transmission of monkeypox between humans is by contact with infectious lesions, scabs, or body fluids, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact might spread the disease. Kissing, snuggling, or touching areas of the body with monkeypox lesions are all common ways for the virus to spread, as are s*x acts between infected individuals.
We do not know if monkeypox can be transmitted through sperm or genital fluids at this time. Although monkeypox isn’t technically an STD, it appears to be spread through sexual intercourse and even extended kissing (or “making out”). Several people who tested positive for monkeypox had recently begun s*xual relationships with untested partners.
What Signs Should I look for?
Fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, and swollen lymph nodes are all symptoms. Monkeypox often manifests as a rash and subsequent lesions within 1-3 days, which subsequently undergo a series of stages before exploding as pustules, scabbing, and eventually dropping off. Typically, patients suffer from symptoms for two to four weeks.
Western African form, which is less severe than its central African counterpart, is suspected to be behind the present outbreak. Please refer to the CDC’s listing of monkeypox symptoms for further details.
How Can I Safeguard Myself from Monkeypox?
You might wish to stay away from sizable gatherings like raves and dance parties during the present outbreak if you don’t want to have close physical contact with others. You might also want to wait a while before engaging in physical intimacy with strangers whose health status and previous travel experiences you are unfamiliar with.
If your new partner has any early signs of monkeypox, such as fever, swollen glands, bodily aches, or a rash, you might want to inquire about it. Before engaging in any s*xual activity, those partners should seek medical attention for these symptoms, even though they could be caused by a variety of other infections. Additionally, it would probably be wise to stay away from saunas and s*x clubs for the time being.
However, you can lower your risk by limiting physical contact and partners if you plan on attending them—or private s*x parties. In a piece for Poz magazine, infectious disease expert Dr. Boghuma Titanji of Emory University stressed the danger of intimate contact: Boghuma Titanji, MD, Ph.D., an infectious disease specialist at Emory University in Atlanta, stated that “close touch is not merely s*xual contact.”
“Close contact also includes being body to body with other people at a crowded concert, bar, or club. Close touch includes all types of sexual interaction. Infectious
Pathogens thrive when the conditions are favorable. That is how epidemics start. Up to two weeks after exposure, people who have close connections with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox may benefit from the smallpox vaccine. Please get in touch with a doctor very once if you had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox.
Condoms and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention are not proven to be helpful in preventing monkeypox.
Is MonkeyPox a gay Disease?
No. Some homos*xual, bi and other males who have s*x with men have reported seeing the spread of monkeypox in their se*ual and social networks (MSM). However, homos*xuality is not a contagious illness. Any person, regardless of their s*xual orientation, can contract a virus or bacteria. It’s also not something that can be spread through s*xual contact.
As was previously said, it is instead disseminated through personal contact. Anyone can catch monkeypox, including heteros*xual people, women, transgender \ and nonbinary people, and others. It’s crucial that gay and bis*xual males, as well as people of African descent, not be viewed as disease vectors.
It’s no secret that the gay and bis*xual male population, as well as African immigrants, face high rates of stigma, prejudice, and discrimination, making them prime targets for acts of violence. Many nations still have laws that make it illegal to be gay or bis*xual, which might make men who have s*x with other men reluctant to come out and admit they do so.
Further complicating efforts to stop the spread of monkeypox, may also make people unwilling to report being part of social and s*xual networks that are disproportionately affected by the present outbreak. The public health response \ to this outbreak of monkeypox should not be allowed to fuel homophobia \sand racism and the scapegoating of homos*xual and bis*xual men and African immigrants.