The following statement was put out today by Fernando Z. Lopez, the Executive Director of San Diego Pride, regarding the spread of Monkeypox.
“There is still a lot of justified collective rage, confusion, frustration, and fear, as we are handed yet another virus to battle. We are hearing from so many people who are afraid to leave their house, afraid to meet up with friends, afraid to hug, afraid to support LGBTQ-owned businesses, afraid of being outed at work, and afraid of the escalating anti-LGBTQ rhetoric that can lead to violence.
We are also hearing about the challenges people face accessing testing, treatment, and vaccines. The reality is we don’t yet have enough vaccines in this country to fully protect those who are most at risk, queer men and their sexual networks. It could be at least a year before we have access to enough vaccines to meet the current need, and that’s if things don’t get further out of hand.
How can we reduce fear and stop or slow the spread of Monkeypox without vaccines? Educating ourselves and each other with facts and making conscience choices to mitigate risks. Thankfully organizations like The San Diego LGBTQ Community Center and Equality California have created some helpful web pages with information. County of San Diego Health and Human Services is also hosting a Virtual Monkeypox Townhall today, Thursday, August 11 from 6-7 pm.
Monkeypox can be spread through:
- Direct contact with the infectious rash, lesions, or scabs
- Sexual/intimate contact
- Sharing towels, bedding, or unwashed clothing
- Respiratory secretions through prolonged face-to-face interactions
Additionally, queer men and our sexual networks can lower the number of sexual partners and increase the period between sexual partners to help slow the spread by giving time to assess if symptoms arise. The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days. Our sexual partners deserve open and honest conversations about our sexual health, and that is only possible if we are educating ourselves and self-aware of our bodies.”
If you’d like to see and read this statement in its entirety you can, just click here.