MPox

MPox Vaccines at HGLHC

The Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective is offering MPox vaccines (JYNNEOS) at our clinic. Vaccines are by appointment only. No walk-ins are accepted.

Please fill out our secure appointment request form, or call us at 860-278-4163 to schedule.

2nd Dose Appointment Reminders

Some people who received JYNNEOS vaccine from us or other providers are getting automated reminders of the need for their 2nd doses. The suggested date / time shown on the reminders may differ from the date / time you are scheduled to receive the vaccine at our facility, or may even be for another provider.

Please do not show up unless a Health Collective staff member has confirmed your appointment via text or phone call or you have completed a new JYNNEOS Consent Form that was texted to you. We send out the JYNNEOS Consent Form the day we have your appointment shown in our system.

If you did NOT receive a JYNNEOS consent form via text – your appointment has NOT been confirmed. If that is the case, please call us at 860-278-4163 to verify the date of your 2nd dose appointment with us.

Why the Name Change?

As of November 28, 2022, the World Health Organization recommended using the word MPox rather than Monkeypox to refer to this disease.

Per the WHO, this change is to reduce the stigma and prejudice associated with MPox, to improve pronounceability in other languages, and to be more scientifically accurate.

For more information on the reasoning behind this name change, click here.

Updated 11/30/2022

Getting Vaccinated

Vaccination against MPox is by appointment only. Please do not show up unannounced. You must make an appointment. You can request an appointment by requesting one or calling us at 860-278-4163. If calling, please ask for or select the medical department.

The following is current as September 26, 2022 from the State of Connecticut Department of Health:

If you currently have symptoms, vaccination is NOT recommended: the vaccine is only effective BEFORE you develop symptoms.

You are eligible to be vaccinated if you are a Connecticut resident aged 18 or older and meet one of the following:

  • You had close personal contact in the past 14 days with a positive case of MPox (this may include sexual partners, household contacts, and healthcare workers); OR
  • You meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • Had a sexual partner in the past 6 months who was diagnosed with MPox; OR
    • Had multiple sexual partners in the past 6 months in a jurisdiction (e.g., city/state/country) with known MPox; OR
    • Have a current partner who has multiple sexual partners in a jurisdiction with known MPox; OR
    • Anticipate having a new sexual partner or partners in the next 6 months in a jurisdiction with known MPox.

If you are eligible to be vaccinated, you should especially consider getting vaccinated if:

  • Your partners are showing symptoms of MPox, such as a rash or sores.
  • You met recent partners through online applications 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 MPox virus, such as HIV or another condition that weakens your immune system, or you have a history of atopic dermatitis or eczema.

Updated 11/30/2022

Need Proof of Vaccination or Vaccine Records?

Connecticut allows you to access your official vaccine records online, including your MPox vaccine and COVID records.

You have the option of getting a PDF copy of your full immunization record, or your COVID-19 vaccine record that contains your SMART Health card, which is a digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccine record that can be stored on your phone as a QR code.

Note: not all your vaccines may be listed if they were given out of State or were given by a provider that has still not updated your records.

Updated 11/30/22

MPox Symptoms

Symptoms of MPox often include a rash that looks like pimples or blisters. Other symptoms are fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. Some people experience flu-like symptoms before they have the rash, or with the rash. For more information on MPox symptoms, please click here for the CDC’s latest info.

Updated 11/30/22

MPox Transmission

MPox is NOT an STD, and does not exclusively infect gay men. Sexual contact is one of the several ways it can be spread.

Do not touch any rash, and wash your hands frequently. If you have a rash, avoid touching it and call your healthcare provider. A person who has MPox symptoms can be contagious for 2-4 weeks as they recover.

MPox is spread by prolonged close personal contact. Oftentimes, it’s spread through sexual contact, but not always. It can also be spread by sharing sheets, towels, or clothing with an infected person, or from other close face-to-face interactions like cuddling or hugging. A person who has MPox is contagious from the start of their symptoms until their rash is fully healed and their symptoms are gone.

Please note that simply going to a public space, like the store or gas station, is not considered high-risk for MPox transmission.

Updated 11/30/22

MPox Testing

To test for MPox, a healthcare provider will get a sample from a lesion (the rash) caused by the illness. You cannot be tested for MPox if you do not have a rash or lesions. This sample will then be sent to the Connecticut State Public Health Laboratory or a commercial lab like Quest.

If you think you may have a MPox rash, call your healthcare provider for information on getting tested.

Updated 11/30/22

Safer Sex and MPox

MPox is spread by close personal contact, like having sex. That’s not the only way it’s spread – all prolonged close personal contact, or touching clothing, sheets, or surfaces that a sick person has touched can transmit MPox. Sex is one of the most common ways it infects people.

When we think of safer sex, condoms are what comes to mind. However, the safer sex practices we are familiar with are NOT enough to protect against MPox.

Consider reducing the number of sexual partners you have. The fewer people you come into intimate contact with, the less likely you are to be exposed.

If you or a partner have MPox, avoid close contact – even kissing. Do not touch any rash. Wash your hands frequently. If a recent partner tells you they have a rash or have tested positive for MPox, contact a healthcare provider. If you are feeling sick with a fever, sore throat, aching, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion, you could have MPox. Contact a healthcare provider.

Read more about safer sex and MPox from the CDC here.

Updated 11/30/22

Do NOT take MPox lightly.

MPox is spreading quickly throughout Connecticut and it’s up to YOU to be part of the solution.

First: if you have an unexplained rash, talk to your healthcare provider right away and do NOT have sex. If you have flu-like symptoms, like fever, aches, and swollen lymph nodes, call your healthcare provider.

MPox is spread mostly by skin-to-skin contact, so condoms aren’t very effective in preventing sexual transmission. Any kind of close personal contact (including kissing, cuddling, “puppy piles,” sharing drinks, and sex) can spread MPox. Sharing bedsheets or clothing that has been in contact with an infected person can also spread the virus.

When a person has MPox, they are sick for 2-4 weeks. That is 2-4 weeks of YOUR life spent sick instead of out enjoying yourself! The Mpox rash can be painful, and no one likes having a fever, aches, and other flu-like symptoms. Plus, the rash can lead to permanent scarring.

Do NOT take MPox lightly. Protect yourself and others! You don’t want to miss out on up to a month of your life being sick.

You can be part of the solution!

Updated 11/30/22

What it’s Like to Have MPox

One man in Connecticut diagnosed with MPox shares what his experience has been like. Learn about what he has gone through in this article from NBC Connecticut.

Updated 11/30/22

What We’re Doing

In addition to providing testing, vaccination and education, we are advocating for an improved response to this health emergency.

On August 17, our Executive Director, Linda Estabrook testified before the Public Health Committee at the State legislature regarding the MPox emergency.

We have also been making other media appearances to advocate for a stronger response from government.

CT Public Radio – 8/16/2022

Updated 11/30/22

MPox is an evolving situation. Please check back frequently as we update with the latest information.

Sources: CDC, Georgia DPH, Connecticut DPH