Monkeypox cases are increasing in the U.S. Most are being reported in the LGBTQ community, but anyone can get monkeypox. It is not a “gay-disease.”
The virus is spread through close personal, often skin-to-skin, contact that causes a rash and open sores (“pox”) on the body, including on or near the genitals or anus.
If we act quickly, we can stop it!
- Look for rashes or open sores, especially on genitals and anus. Flu-like symptoms may come before sores.
- Take precautions not to spread the virus to others. Avoid being intimate until sores have completely healed.
- Get checked out by a medical provider if you think you have monkeypox. If you don’t have a regular provider, visit a public health clinic.
The monkeypox virus causes a rash and open sores on the body, including on the genitals and anus. Some people may experience flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, aches, etc.) a few days before sores appear. It is spread thru close, personal, often skin to skin, contact, including touching, kissing, during sex. It can also be spread through towels, sheets and other items in contact with open sores.
With monkeypox cases rising, it’s important to be on the look out for symptoms and seek care if you think you’ve been exposed. Check yourself and others for rashes or open sores, including in the genitals and anus (a mirror can help). If you notice something new, see a healthcare provider. If you don’t have a regular provider, you can visit a public health clinic for free or low-cost care.
Events where attendees are fully clothed and unlikely to share skin-to-skin contact are safer. However, be mindful of activities (like kissing) that might spread monkeypox. A rave, party, or club where there is minimal clothing and where there is direct, personal contact has some risk. Enclosed spaces where intimate sexual contact occurs have a higher likelihood of spreading monkeypox.
Don’t have a regular healthcare provider? Visit a public health clinic.
Public health clinics that offer STD testing may also be able to assess you for monkeypox. Care provided through these clinics is often FREE or offered on a sliding scale.