Monkeypox Information & Updates
Vaccines are available through the NYC Department of Health, Suffolk County and Nassau County, though supply is limited. LGBT Network does not have access to the vaccine at this time. We know many of you have requested the vaccine be available at our centers, and we are advocating through public and health officials to bring the vaccine to our community centers.
People who meet all of the following conditions are eligible to be vaccinated:
- Gay, bisexual, or other man who has sex with men, and/or transgender, gender non-conforming, or gender non-binary
- Age 18 or older
- Have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days
People who have been informed by the Health Department that they are a close contact of someone with monkeypox should also get vaccinated.
If you are eligible to be vaccinated, you should especially consider getting vaccinated if:
- Your partners are showing symptoms of monkeypox, such as a rash or sores.
- You met recent partners through apps or social media platforms (such as Grindr, Tinder or Scruff), or at clubs, raves, sex parties, saunas or other large gatherings.
- You have a condition that may increase your risk for severe disease if infected with monkeypox virus, such as HIV or another condition that weakens your immune system, or you have a history of atopic dermatitis or eczema.
What is Monkeypox (MPV)?
Beginning in early May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been tracking several clusters of Monkeypox in countries that don’t typically have Monkeypox (MPV) activity, including in the UK and North America.
Although Monkeypox (MPV) can affect anyone regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation, recent clusters have disproportionately occurred in gay and bisexual men.
The Monkeypox Virus (MPV) is in the same family as smallpox. According to the CDC, the symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Symptoms of Monkeypox include a painful rash or sores, fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and swollen lymph nodes. People with monkeypox may experience all or only a few of these symptoms. Some people have reported developing the rash or sores before (or without) the flu-like symptoms.
In the recent outbreak, the rash or sores is often seen in the genital/groin area as well as in and around the anal area but can occur all over the body as well as on the palms of the hands and soles of feet. Some have also reported anal symptoms like bleeding and pain.
How is Monkeypox (MPV) transmitted?
Monkeypox (MPV) is spread through:
- Direct skin-to-skin contact with a rash, scabs, or body fluids
- Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face (unmasked) contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
- Touching porous items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
Monkeypox (MPV) is NOT spread through:
- Brief conversations/interactions
- Brushing by someone with monkeypox
- Touching items like doorknobs or elevator buttons
Reduce the risk of Monkeypox (MPV) infection by:
Help reduce the risk of Monkeypox (MPV) infection by:
- Talking to your sexual partner(s) about any recent illness, and being aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on you or your partner’s body, including on the genitals and anus
- Avoiding intimate physical contact, including kissing, cuddling, and sex with someone with an unexplained rash or sore
- Seeking medical advice if you’ve had contact with someone who has tested positive or, if you have developed a new or unexplained rash or sore
- Regularly washing hands
If you have Monkeypox (MPV), or have a new unexplained rash or sore, reduce the risk of transmitting it to others by:
- Keeping your rash covered when coming into contact with others
- Avoiding intimate contact
- Being open and honest with your partners
Reduce the Stigma:
Help reduce the stigma of Monkeypox (MPV):
- Although currently 97-98% of monkeypox cases are gay and bisexual men, anyone can get Monkeypox (MPV), regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation.
- Have open conversations with sexual partners about your status, and theirs. Lead with empathy! We are all going through a scary time, but we are in this together. Do not blame or shame anyone – including yourself.
- Don’t panic, and seek medical attention if you have a new or unexplained rash. You can get tested, and find ways to keep you, your partners, and other close contacts safe.
How is Monkeypox (MPV) treated?
In most cases, Monkeypox (MPV) will resolve on its own. There are also antiviral medications such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), that may be recommended for people with severe symptoms, or people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.
If you have symptoms of monkeypox, you should talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox.
For more information, check out this CDC Fact Sheet.
What is the vaccine?
Eligible New Yorkers can get the JYNNEOSTM vaccine. This vaccine has been approved by the FDA for the prevention of monkeypox in people ages 18 and older.
Getting vaccinated after a recent exposure reduces the chance of you getting monkeypox, and it can reduce symptoms if you do get it. You must take two doses of the vaccine, approximately four weeks apart.
If you are eligible to be vaccinated, you can make an appointment online.
- NYC Department of Health: Monkeypox (Orthopoxvirus)
- CDC: Social Gatherings, Safer Sex, and Monkeypox
- CDC: Monkeypox Facts for People Who are Sexually Active
- CDC: Monkeypox FAQ
- CDC: 2022 Monkeypox and Orthopoxvirus Outbreak Global Map