Monkeypox - Why is the news framing it as a strictly LGBTQ+ issue?

Updated: Sep 6

Enabling a breeding ground for hate crimes and a future pandemic.


Monkeypox is being treated as a virus only affecting the LGBTQ+ community but none of the symptoms or transmission mediums are specific to the LGBTQ+ community, so why is the news framing this as a strictly LGBTQ+ issue?


When thinking about this issue, we first must deal with the reality that those who are at the most risk for infection are men who have sex with men (MSMs).

Of course, our government is still not handling this as they should.

Instead of providing people with the protection they need, they are focusing more on funding the police (see “Safer America Plan”). The news, on the other hand, is hellbent on making sure the word gets out “Monkeypox virus could become entrenched as new STD in the US,” and “99% [of cases] have been men who reported having sex with other men.”


Firstly, although monkeypox is mainly spread through sex, as shown above, it is not spread through semen and instead spreads through continued skin-to-skin contact. By leaving out important information on how it is transmitted, people are being put in danger


Secondly, by focusing only on the LGBTQ+ community and leaving out the fact it is not spread only by gay sex but all sex (especially by skin-to-skin contact, even in hugs), is going to put the LGBTQ+ community in unnecessary danger.


The AIDs epidemic was originally phrased in the same way, that the only ones who could get affected were gay men, and now it has become a horrifically homophobic stereotype. Early in the AIDs epidemic, pediatric immunologist Dr. Arye Rubinstein treated 5 infants who were showing signs of severe immuno-deficiency. These cases were ignored by his colleagues even though they were showing signs of the same illnesses affecting gay men. If they had not been ignored, the homophobic stereotype classifying HIV/AIDs as an “LGBTQ+ disease” may not have existed today.


The exact same thing is happening today. People will believe the only ones who are able to catch monkeypox are MSMs, when, in reality, anyone can catch it. Since it is spread by skin-to-skin contact, when school starts back up outbreaks will happen, and people may believe that MSMs are having sex with children. Due to the Right’s attempts at spreading rumors of LGBTQ+ pedophilia which, while false, some people already believe, the news may be inadvertently increasing the spread and strength of these hurtful rumors. With this coming outbreak during the school year, if this misconception about monkeypox is not halted, hate crimes will rise and people will continue to get hurt by these false facts.


Monkeypox Symptoms


  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Muscle Aches

  • Backache

  • Swollen Lymph nodes

  • Chills

  • Exhaustion

  • Respiratory symptoms

  • Sore throat

  • Nasal congestion

  • Cough



A rash located on/near genitals, anus, hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

It will go through several stages, including cabs, before healing.

It can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.


You may experience all or only a few symptoms.


Most people with monkeypox will get a rash.

The symptoms will usually start within 3 weeks or exposure to the virus.

It is transmittable from the time symptoms start until the time the rash has fully healed, the scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

It typically lasts about 2-4 weeks.


How it's spread?
  • 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, and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox

  • Contact with respiratory secretions



Sources

“About Monkeypox.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 July 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/about.html.

Stobbe, Mike. “Monkeypox Virus Could Become Entrenched as New STD in the US.” AP NEWS, Associated Press, 23 July 2022, https://apnews.com/article/monkeypox-the-next-std-3266fd0ae451578c989605f430cd3897.

Date last updated: April 29, 2022. “A Timeline of HIV and AIDS.” HIV.gov, 28 July 2022, https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/history/hiv-and-aids-timeline.


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