Monkeypox Practical Advice

How is Monkeypox transmitted?

Scientists believe Monkeypox virus transmission primarily occurs through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids. Sores can be anywhere on the body but are most commonly on genitals, butt, and hands.

Indirect transmission can also occur through contact with items that have become contaminated with infected material, such as clothing or linens that have touched body fluids or sores.

Monkeypox virus is also thought to be spread through respiratory secretions, although prolonged face-to-face contact may be required for transmission to occur via this route.

There is growing evidence that transmissible virus is present in semen and may remain present for a time after otherwise recovered.

Scientists are still researching if the virus can be spread when someone has no symptoms (source)

How to prevent Monkeypox disease:

  • Get vaccinated if you are exposed and it is offered to you.

  • Do whatever you can to prevent your skin from touching other people’s skin and body fluids especially if they have rashes, sores, or other symptoms.

    • Avoid skin-to-skin contact at bars, clubs, parties, sex clubs, and parks. At a minimum, cover your skin with clothing and keep your distance from others.

    • Delay your trip to Fire Island, Ptown, Rehobeth, Mykonos, Saugatuck, Guerneville, etc., or change your travel plans to other locations & activities where you will avoid close skin-to-skin contact.

  • Limit risk in close/sexual contacts:

    • Consider temporarily limiting sexual contact to a partner or a small pod with limited risk.

    • Inspect the skin (particularly underwear regions) of yourself and your sexual partners before hooking up. Know what to look for by understanding what monkeypox looks like.

    • Monitor yourself and ask partners about potential early symptoms of monkeypox infection - fever, feeling bad, headache, weakness, swollen lymph nodes, etc.

    • Have an open and honest conversation about risk level and tolerance - how much and what kind of close contact have each of you had in the past few weeks. How much potential exposure is this contact worth?

    • Get your sexual partners' contact info - and if you come down with symptoms after a hook up, let them know.

    • If your partner is recently recovered from monkeypox, consider using a condom because the virus may survive in semen for a time after recovery.

    • Wash bedsheets between sexual partners.

  • Get involved - demand testing and vaccine access, and education.

  • Wear a face mask if you have monkeypox or are in close contact with someone who does.

I have a new or unexplained rash, skin bump, or other symptoms. What do I do?

  • Avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out.

  • If you don’t have a provider or health insurance, visit a public health clinic near you.

  • When you see a healthcare provider, wear a mask, and remind them that this virus is circulating in the area.

  • Avoid gatherings, especially if they involve close, personal, skin-to-skin contact.

  • Think about the people you have had close, personal, or sexual contact during the last 21 days, including people you met through dating apps. To help stop the spread, you might be asked to share this information if you have received a monkeypox diagnosis.

  • Monkeypox is sometimes being misdiagnosed as something else. If you think you have it and the doctor doesn't, ask them to look at this page, which is written by a San Francisco based ER doctor who has seen a number of monkeypox patients.

  • If you are in significant pain, or have sores on sensitive areas, consider seeking out TPOXX.

How can I lower the chance of getting monkeypox at places like raves, parties, clubs, and festivals? (from CDC guide)

When thinking about what to do, seek out information from trusted sources like the local health department. Second, consider how much close, personal, skin-to-skin contact is likely to occur at the event you plan to attend. If you feel sick or have a rash, do not attend any gathering, and see a healthcare provider.

  • Festivals, events, and concerts where attendees are fully clothed and unlikely to share skin-to-skin contact are safer. However, attendees should 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, often skin-to-skin contact has some risk. Avoid any rash you see on others and consider minimizing skin-to-skin contact.

  • Enclosed spaces, such as back rooms, saunas, sex clubs, or private and public sex parties where intimate, often anonymous sexual contact with multiple partners occurs, may have a higher likelihood of spreading monkeypox.