Dear Kim: What’s the Story With Monkeypox?

Dear Kim, 

All this news about monkeypox is freaking me out. I know it’s being detected a lot among men who have sex with men, which makes me nervous as a bisexual man. How scared should I be? How can I keep myself safe from monkeypox? 


Freaked Out 

Dear Freaked, 

It’s totally normal to be nervous about a new outbreak of an infection you don’t know much about. You’re right that monkeypox has been detected in the United States, and that a large percentage of these cases are among men who have sex with men. However, anyone can get monkeypox regardless of sexual orientation. 

Monkeypox is spread by close or prolonged contact with a person who is infected and has symptoms, or touching clothes or linens that have come into contact with a person’s monkeypox rash or bodily fluids. 

Symptoms of monkeypox include a rash that looks like pimples or blisters, a fever, headaches, muscle or back aches, chills, and exhaustion. If you have a new, unexplained rash, or any other symptoms of monkeypox, get medical attention as soon as possible. In addition, avoid contact with other people to avoid spreading it.  

Monkeypox is unpleasant, and can cause pain and potentially scarring, but you are very unlikely to die from it. People with compromised immune systems, and the very young and very old, are at greater risk of dying. Monkeypox is still also very uncommon, and your risk of getting it is low; however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be vigilant and protect yourself. 

To reduce your risk of getting monkeypox, avoid contact with anyone who has it, or may have been exposed to it. Practice good hygiene, and wash your hands regularly. If you feel sick, stay home and contact your healthcare provider. 

I hope this helps clear up your concerns. 

Be well, be yourself! 


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: