Ask Kim: Is Monkeypox Deadly?

Dear Kim,

I’ve been hearing about deaths from Monkeypox in the news, and I’m kind of freaked out. Can you give me the facts? Am I at risk of dying from Monkeypox? 



Dear Scared,

It’s totally understandable that you’d be a little frightened by the news reports on Monkeypox deaths. Outbreaks like this can be especially triggering for people who lived through the early stages of the AIDS epidemic or know someone who died of AIDS. However, the Monkeypox outbreak is not like HIV/AIDS. It’s rarely fatal, and it isn’t a lifelong infection.

It is true that there have been six reported deaths from Monkeypox in the United States. Each of these deaths were in people with serious immunocompromising conditions. If you are a person who is severely immunocompromised, or have a partner who is, it is imperative that you exercise extreme caution.

However, it’s also important to note that the CDC has reported almost 25,000 cases of confirmed Monkeypox in the United States, and only 6 resulted in death. This is less than a 0.001% rate of death. It is highly unlikely that if you get monkeypox you will die from it (though you are likely to experience some very unpleasant symptoms).

That being said, you certainly still want to avoid getting Monkeypox, because it isn’t a fun experience. Monkeypox can cause a rash, fever, chills, pain, and other symptoms that you definitely don’t want to deal with. If you are at risk of Monkeypox exposure you should consider getting the vaccine, which you can get here at HGLHC. Check the eligibility guidelines for the vaccine here.

Other ways to lower your risk of Monkeypox are to reduce your number of sexual partners, ask partners about whether they’ve been exposed or are having symptoms, or engage in low- or no-risk sexual activity like masturbating together, sexting, or fantasizing.

In short – don’t panic, but still be careful. 

Be Well, Be Yourself,


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