public health 

I fear that we may have completely fucked up our monkeypox response.

It may be true that so far primarily “men who have sex with men” have been affected by the outbreak because the virus may have found its way into a network of sexual relationships.

public health 

But monkeypox is not transmitted exclusively through sexual contact and it is not limited to MSM.

Focusing our initial efforts on those most at risk was probably a good idea, but we also managed to create an impression that monkeypox only affects gay men.

public health 

Even some medical professionals appear to have internalised the notion that you can dismiss monkeypox in people identifying as heterosexual.

public health 

That monkeypox was detected first in sexual networks might have just been a matter of chance. It spreads through physical contact, maybe droplets and fomites and there may have been a superspreading event in Europe.

public health 

Nothing about this virus makes it specifically gay. It doesn’t care whether you like women or men. If you come into contact with enough of the virus without having antibodies, you’ll get infected.

public health 

Considering that most people who have been vaccinated against smallpox also have immunity against monkeypox as well, it may have just been a question of time for monkeypox to spread among humans.

Since the smallpox virus has been eradicated in the wild, we have stopped vaccinating against it, opening up the possibility for younger people to contract other viruses related to it, including monkeypox.

Combined with climate change, human settlement and travel patterns and evolution of the virus, that may have permitted it to gain a foothold in the human population.

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