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General News Growing monkeypox problem in U.S. and alerts are now in place in San Francisco and New York

Discussion in 'Current Events, World News, & LGBT News' started by Tightrope, Jul 29, 2022.

  1. Tightrope

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    I've been trying to follow this situation some. Monkeypox is sort of easy to transmit and the article mentions skin to skin contact can transmit it ... bodily fluids aren't even necessary. Almost all people recover.

    All the articles mention that it's relatively higher in men who have sex with men. That has begun to stigmatize this new outbreak. That doesn't help matters at all. They have the smallpox vaccine for it, which is a good thing, but they need to build up availability of vaccine supplies before it gets out of hand.

    Are you concerned about this? I'll definitely go get the vaccine when it becomes available. I've been getting a lot of injections lately!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/07/28/monkeypox-emergency-san-francisco-new-york/
     
  2. Loves books

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    Luckily Ireland is far from the US but I also didn’t think a virus in China was a problem when I first heard about it on the news. The last thing the world needs is another pandemic, the current one isn’t over yet. If I need the vaccine I’ll get it but I hope it won’t be necessary.
     
  3. UndoneStateOfMe

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    Really not loving the fact that the CDC is trying/succeeding to make monkeypox a "gay disease" in the midst of all the right wing rhetoric. The vaccine probably wont show up where I am living until its too late but I will try and get it anyhow.
     
  4. PrettyBoyBlue

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    I am definitely concerned about it.

    More selfishly, every time I try to start or restart something resembling a sex life, a global pandemic happens... 2020, 2022. Honestly, very upset for my own sake since I'm really trying to be OUT of the closet and live a REAL human life for once.

    The whole stigma is what's really getting to me lately... A lot of the stuff that I had learned growing up in Catholic high school about increased STD/HIV risks for LGBT's was what kept me in the closet for so long, all this internalized homophobia... And now this whole situation is just bringing it all back again for me, sadly.
     
    #4 PrettyBoyBlue, Aug 2, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
  5. mnguy

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    Why is it mostly men who have sex with men if it's so easily transmissible and survives on surfaces for how long, I heard 15 days at one point? Are most actual cases in other people but they won't get tested for fear of being thought of as gay?
     
  6. resu

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    This is very dangerous because all it takes is some mutations for the virus to be more infectious and/or deadly like smallpox in humans, especially if it spills over into animals.

    I agree there are problems with stigma, and I also think it is equally important for public health officials to target priority groups, and I’ve definitely seen gay male activists I follow sounding the alarm way before most regular people. I would like to push back on saying “anyone” can get infected, which to me is like saying “all lives matter” to “black lives matter” protestors. Men who have sex with men are currently most at risk because some of the first cases came from that demographic in Europe, and the fact nearby people were not infected indicates the virus needs very close contact to spread. I would like to see data on whether protection like condoms helps reduce the risk of infection because it will be very difficult to stop people from having sex. Then again, eventually many people took Covid precautions. Our only real hope to avoid an epidemic or pandemic is enough vaccinations.
     
  7. Tightrope

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    The first and most important thing is to get the vaccines rolled out. I believe they slowed down smallpox vaccine production because they thought it was gone. That raises the question if those pressing to get vaccinated are going to send out a "Me first, me first, because I'm at high risk" message. No one had to do that with Covid vaccines. They went by age groups and health conditions.

    It's difficult to see anyone get it. I've been watching short videos of how patients have been treated and reading some news clips. Some children have recently acquired monkeypox in the U.S. Since it is so easy to transmit and with just skin to skin contact, this is less of a men who have sex with men scenario than HIV has been. We don't even know what types of sex are transmitting it - insertive sex or just foreplay.

    HPV is spread by skin to skin contact. They have a vaccine for it. For adults over a certain age, they won't administer it or don't recommend it. At least 1/3 of Americans carry the HPV virus and it's sitting in the background dormant, not acting up and not causing problems. That is, except for a few people. I recently learned from a friend that a relative of hers had to get a hysterectomy because she was in a sexual relationship with a man who exposed her to one of the few strains of HPV that are known to cause cancer in women's reproductive system. She survived and is doing fine, but I can't even imagine.

    I think that, if this gets to be a bigger problem, and I think it will, we might see that all kinds of people may be affected and the stigma may taper off. We don't need more hysteria and marginalization.
     
  8. zename

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    Sex doesn't cause monkeypox, but it provides for the reliable transmission of the virus. So, on the one hand we can say "anyone" can get it who has close contact with someone who has it. On the other hand, this started in the "men who have sex with other men" community, so that's where it is running rampant at the moment. People who have close contact with the infected are at risk of catching it, that's why there are a low number of children and women with it right now.

    Is it stigmatizing to say that maybe raw dogging several strangers over a weekend isn't the best from a health perspective, when there's a virus going around that can be spread through close contact, including sex.

    Here's some facts on smallpox vaccines that the U.S. has. The declaration of a national health emergency today should allow faster access to the stockpiles the government has. From what I've read, vaccines are going first to close contacts of the infected, then to groups at higher risk of infection.

    If you don't know much about monkeypox, why is that? The information is out there, here is the CDC page. And it's not like the information just recently appeared there or anywhere else. The spread of this started in May, and then jumped during Pride month and since.

    -------------------------

    https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/transmission.html

    Monkeypox spreads in a few ways.

    • Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:
      • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
      • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
      • Contact with respiratory secretions.
    • This direct contact can happen during intimate contact, including:
      • Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) of a person with monkeypox.
      • Hugging, massage, and kissing.
      • Prolonged face-to-face contact.
      • Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox and that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys.
    • A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
    It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.

    A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
     
  9. Tightrope

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    That's a lot of good information. I've been reading short articles.

    They do say skin-to-skin contact such as kissing, hugging, and prolonged contact. They also mention contact with bedding, clothing, and towels. It sounds to me like it does not discriminate by sexual orientation at all. It's probably that, if it broke out in gay communities and at gay events in specific areas, those individuals who already have it are more likely to have contact with other men. They mentioned that it will become much more serious if it works its way into day care and schools.

    It's supposed to be harder to contract than Covid.
     
  10. Isbjorn

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    Mainly because of all the varying groups of people out there, gay men make more physical, skin to skin contact with other men and a variety of other men at that. It makes sense really. I have noticed it myself since coming out. LGBT people touch a lot more. It is in our nature. We as a whole are also less monogamous, so we touch many others. I also do not mean in a sexual way either. I didn't have sex at pride in SF, but there was a lot of touchy feely between A LOT of strangers there. Also, a lot of sex too. None of either helped prevent the spread and are the reason, I believe, that it spread so rampantly there.

    The really bad part is that this did start a stigma of it being a "Gay" disease. Very scary, and also very reminiscent of the 80s. I was a teen during all that shit and I believe is that is yet another reason I stayed deep in denial of my inner feeling. Not only were they considered wrong, they were considered deadly.
     
  11. mnguy

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    True, very sad, same here. It set back the gay rights momentum from the 70s too I think. Lost so many guys who could have been role models and mentors for younger guys. At least we have vaccine for this and it's not so deadly. People will have it but not get tested to avoid the stigma. For example I just had a small bump inside my lower lip appear and mostly subside and this morning just noticed an itchy bump on a finger. I don't want to get checked for it really. It's just a coincidence I'm sure.
     
  12. Isbjorn

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    Fortunately my doc is LGBT friendly, in fact I am checked regularly for STD's by her. I wouldn't hesitate if I thought I might have it because she knows I am Bi and somewhat active and is accepting. No stigma to asking her. Do you not have a primary care physician that you can trust, and/or that you are out to? I am so happy I have that.
     
  13. PrettyBoyBlue

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    @Isbjorn brings up a great point.

    If it helps anyone else, I found my current primary doctor online through the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association: https://www.glma.org/
    ("Find a Provider" at the top. A lot of their providers are listed for transgender health as well, obviously.)

    It was a huge help for me, really can't recommend it enough.
     
  14. mnguy

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    Thanks, yes, fortunately that's an option and I'd get it checked if I needed to, just not a fan of going to the doctor generally and hard getting there at times, unless they could do that over video call. I think I bit the inside of my lip eating and the other seems to be a bug bite but I'll keep it under observation.
     
  15. Tightrope

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    I found an article and didn't bookmark it. It was a more scientific article and it said that MPX is affecting the gay community because of connected social networks. This probably meant that community folks have been interacting and even having sex so that it kept it in a closed loop. For now, I can see that.

    When HIV-AIDS was raging and people outside of the community were getting it, they blamed it on bisexual men. Those stories made the news. Women who were the girlfriends and wives of men who were having sex with men on the DL came forth to tell their stories and it stung bisexuals. They didn't talk about women who were the girlfriends and wives of men who were sharing needles anywhere as much.

    The big rub right now is that there isn't enough vaccine being put out there. You basically have to be a health care worker or have had contact with someone who has it. Sort of like contact tracing. You just can't go up to most vaccination events and get vaccinated for your own personal well-being because they have to ration the vaccines.

    Skin to skin contact and respiratory droplets are easy ways to transmit anything. That means that the safe and safer sex they begged you to stick to for preventing HIV-AIDS is off the table! What?

    The only thing about this illness that causes less worry is that it is rarely fatal. I bet there might be long term consequences for some. Most people are supposed to fully heal up.

    They have the know how for this vaccine. They need to start making more of it. Now.
     
  16. Tightrope

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    There hasn't been much talk of monkeypox in the last few weeks. Right now, the media seems to be concentrating on the Queen's funeral.

    I keep an eye on the CDC site and read brief articles on this. The site shows graphs and bar charts. The good news is that the weekly trend figures which are released on Wednesdays have been showing a downward trend. The bad news is that those affected are almost entirely younger and middle aged men who have sex with men, which could easily still make it stigmatized. If a person wanted to show up to a vaccine clinic, they would profile you for your risk and probably decide with you if you need the injection. As more vaccine becomes available, I can't see a reason for not getting vaccinated, just to be on the safe side.
     
  17. Tightrope

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    This week's trend didn't look so good. I guess I'm weirded out because Covid omicron hasn't quieted down and I've got an appointment for the booster shot that targets omicron in 2 weeks. To make matters worse, there's monkeypox going around. I'm checking in on this graph more than the state count map.

    https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/mpx-trends.html

    The two days that are always low are Saturday and Sunday. Two weeks ago, the trend looked promising. This last report is hopefully just a blip upward. I hope it goes in the other direction next week.

    They are also no longer reporting case counts on the state maps. They just show ranges. They have > 500 for states like New York and Florida. We know New York has had about 4,000 cases. Those ranges aren't very helpful.