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It’s not homosexual to say that monkeypox is affecting gay men

It’s not homosexual to say that monkeypox is affecting gay men


As the World Health Organization declares the virus a global health emergency, it is important to direct limited resources to the largest number of people. At risk

Last weekend, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a global health emergency.A viral infection that has affected countries in western and central Africa for years spread to the United Kingdom earlier this year, with a high number of cases. 2,137 last week.

WHO Release A Twitter thread (MSM – a generic term designed to include people not identified as gay or bisexual) who stated that the virus primarily affects men who have sex with men, which is an immediate and widespread violent backlash. Caused. Thousands of people chime to blame homosexual organizations, and their efforts to nominate the most endangered groups, rise tide Of anti-LGBTQ + violence. Many suggest that targeted interventions aimed at MSM form part of a broader effort to demonize the people of Queer, reminiscent of the times of the AIDS crisis. This framing is often based on reasonable concerns, but there is nothing more wrong. Not only that, it also has the added effect of obscuring the actual question of how the government responds to the outbreak.

To be clear: Admitting that monkeypox affects MSM almost exclusively is not at least a bit of a homosexual aversion – because this is happening. Recent researchA study of 528 cases in 16 countries found that 98% of infected men were gay or bisexual men. “According to the latest UK figures, there have been more than 2,000 cases of monkeypox since May, and only a handful were not MSMs,” he said. Deborah Gold, CEO of National AIDS Trust.Government Latest research Only 13 women have been diagnosed and found that there is no solid evidence of transmission outside the MSM sexual network. “I learned a lot about how we stigmatized the early health promotion around HIV in the 1980s and how it still affects us,” Gold continues. “But we need to address our health with evidence-based policies. If we ignore it, we risk greater harm to the community through hypersensitivity.” In addition, the virus spreads to the general public. The best way to prevent this is to focus your resources on the most affected demographics. This approach benefits public health. For everyone, not just MSM.

The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have created a delusional approach to infectious diseases.You can see this while playing Fear mongering In an attempt to unify the risks posed by monkeypox, the Twitter people, many of whom are prominent health professionals, are trying to portray it as a direct sequel to COVID. There is one virus Infographic From inhalation to touching an infected object, do a round listing a very comprehensive number of ways in which monkeypox can spread.This information itself is not inaccurate, but it can be misleading as to what the outbreak is. I’m actually developing it.Monkeypox can Spreads to non-MSM populations, but so far evidence suggests this is happening to the extreme Rare instance. There is an online debate that this is due to confirmation bias and is the result of the fact that only MSMs have been tested. It is impossible to completely ignore this possibility, but there is currently no evidence to suggest that it is actually happening.

Similarly, monkeypox can It is transmitted by means other than sexual contact, but so far most are transmitted through a type of dilated skin-to-skin contact that actually occurs only during sex. There was also a great deal of resistance to this idea, as if sexually transmitted diseases were inherently more shameful or stigmatized. But again, this is going in the wrong direction. It is important to be able to show how the infection is spreading. “Strictly speaking, it’s not a sexually transmitted disease, because it’s not transmitted through sexual fluids,” says Gold. “But based on the fact that there are currently over 2,000 cases and it is still within this network of MSMs, I can make some wise assumptions about how it spreads. Is not saying it can be done I never have There are some examples of outliers, so they are passed in other ways. However, in reality, the prolonged skin-to-skin contact shows how it is inherited. “

Some experts go a step further and argue that it makes sense to conceptualize monkeypox as an STI. “I don’t think we should be afraid to think of it as a sexually transmitted disease. There is nothing embarrassing.” Dr. Stephen SlasherAuthor of Lower class of virus: Human damage when inequality and illness clash A professor at Northwestern University told Dazed. “Currently, it is transmitted primarily through sex between men, and it is important to name it so that most of the research and resources go there. At the same time, it is transmitted as the situation changes. You can prepare for other ways that can divert you. Calling something STI does not prevent you from treating other modes of infection. It is to minimize sexually transmitted diseases. It just helps to name the way it exists. “

In online discourse over monkeypox, many people quickly evoke the AIDS crisis as a rhetorical club, albeit with apparent little knowledge. The idea that these targeted interventions are a reversion to the stigmatized, negligent way gay men were treated in the 1980s is historically illiterate. The problem with the state’s response to the AIDS crisis on both sides of the Atlantic was not that it was too fast to allocate resources to gay men and other vulnerable demographics. It was that they didn’t act for a long time because they didn’t care that these people were dead. The approach we see today, where MSM is prioritized, is very different and is often advocated by activists and activists with decades of experience fighting for HIV justice. “Understanding, it’s a shame to see people building this MSM-centric approach. It’s the result of the post-AIDS crisis victory and the services that came from its aftermath, and some sort of AIDS. “Parallel to,” says Marianne *. , A sexual health care support worker at the forefront of outbreaks.

If people are right about their concerns, and if the AIDS comparison is definitely more appropriate, it’s a threat of conservative rights to arm out as a means of demonizing gay men-this is already happening. , Will definitely get worse. This is a well-founded anxiety, especially in the United States, which is currently experiencing a wave of anti-LGBTQ + violence resurgence. However, we should not allow the right to exploit this crisis to determine our own response. Infectious diseases that primarily affect the people of Queer appear at unfortunate times, but effective public health strategies need to be evidence-based. We cannot avoid this because we are afraid of how homosexual rights react, but those fears may be justified. “In everything we do, we need to be very careful about how we spread the message,” says Gold. “I don’t want to reduce the fact that there is a risk of building stigma, but you need to think carefully about that risk, but it can’t prevent you from taking the actions you need to take.”

If we want to confront the state’s homosexual arousal, a better place to start would be the chronic lack of funding for sexual health services, which are currently in huge condition. Added strain Without being given additional resources. Not only does monkeypox have a disproportionate effect on MSM, it also has the knock-on effect that over-service is struggling to provide HIV care, PrEP, and other important sexual health treatments. There is an urgent need for unfilled additional capacity. “After thinking that an individual may have monkeypox, the entire room needs to be disinfected,” Gold explains. “This takes time. Some sexual health clinics may have only one or two rooms where you can see people. It’s immeasurable for a system that started out very underfunded. There is no pressure. ”The“ drop-in ”approach we saw when it comes to providing vaccines. last weekend Effectively use the banner labeled “I AM GAY” to actually serve only those who are willing to wait for hours. This means that you are likely to exclude people who are reluctant to go out publicly.

According to Marianne, sexual health services are in a good place to tackle the outbreak, and all the patients she sees are happy to be treated in that situation. “But these services are really struggling to even provide this narrow target response. After years of reductions with Covid, we’re already struggling to get back to normal capacity. “She says. “In this context, we are expecting to handle new outbreaks without additional resources, which puts a lot of pressure on services that are already at breakpoints. Are we directing too many monkeypox resources to MSM? It’s great not to pay too much attention to how and how little resources we have overall. “

Similarly, there is a severe lack of support for people who have monkeypox and then have to self-isolate, and in some cases up to three weeks or more. For many, this can be financially devastating. This is especially true if they have a zero-hour contract or are dependent on sex work. Currently, there is no access to the types of support services available in the early stages of the COVID pandemic. “We really need some kind of financial support for those who are looking for self-isolation,” says Gold. The fact that this type of support is not provided, along with the long-term lack of funding for sexual health services, deserves our anger more than public health agencies that pinpoint who is most at risk. increase.

People are right to worry about the stigma of homosexuality that may result from an outbreak, but they should not surrender to the idea that having an illness is inherently shameful-doing so You will be fighting under enemy conditions. Denying the fact that MSMs are disproportionately affected feels like a kind of good politics, a break from the more difficult task of fighting the existence of such stigma in the first place. From now on, instead, we need to be attentive to each other and strive to ensure that the state allocates the resources it needs to contain the outbreak and help those affected.

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