Wouldn’t it be nice if all it took to avoid a nasty disease was altering one’s behavior?
As the media start to take on a COVID-pandemic tone about monkeypox, a highly communicable disease that causes blisters on the skin, it is emerging more and more clearly that the infection is spread almost exclusively by and among gay men actively having sex with each other.
Which would mean, with multiple partners.
More than 12,000 cases of the disease, which is rarely fatal, have been confirmed globally since May. The World Health Organization hasn’t yet declared an emergency, but the alarm in the media seems to be growing in a world now conditioned to halting everything for a disease.
Cases have been reported to be doubling each week, and the spread is expected to continue, said Ashwin Vasan, a New York City Health commissioner, at a July 19 forum on monkeypox. Part of this is due to increased testing revealing the true size of the outbreak, reports Quartz.
Vaccine supplies remain insufficient, and New York City health department guidelines all but admit that the vulnerable population consists of “all gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (cisgender or transgender), aged 18 and older, who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days.”
The LGB Alliance also admits Monkeypox is mainly spread by gay men and is calling on sex venues to be closed.
“LGB Alliance calls on the government and local authorities to close all commercial sex venues for a month until the dynamics of the monkeypox outbreak are better understood.”
Indeed, the vast majority of cases have been identified among men who have sex with men, triggering for homosexuals the memory of AIDS and the mixed bag of stigma, attention and sympathy it brought.
“My fear is that [monkeypox] will become entrenched,” Erik Bottcher, a New York City council member who is part of the LGBTQIA+ caucus, said during the town hall, commenting on the vaccine shortage.