New Name. Same Virus. Mpox Is Back. Which Cities Are Seeing A Rise?

photo via, @geralt

Picture it. June 2022. NYC. The gay community is on high alert as the rumblings we have been hearing about Monkeypox –  which the WHO renamed Mpox citing stigma and discrimination – have come to fruition will a full-on public health emergency. Gays lined up for blocks waiting to get the first of two doses. Getting that appointment for that first dose might have taken you weeks as many felt the government’s response was piss poor, myself included.

But as the queer community has done time and time again…we saved ourselves. Last August Instinct reported on a CDC survey that “found that 47.8 percent of US MSM (men who have sex with men) have actively reduced their number of sex partners in the last three months because of monkeypox. Plus, 9.8% mitigated or outright stopped one-time sexual encounters, while 49.6% reduced their sexual activity with a partner met on a dating app.” We had less (random) sex. We got vaccinated. We told our friends to get vaccinated. We asked potential hook-ups if they had been vaccinated. And by Fall monkeypox had for all intents and purposes gone away. The New York Times even published an op-ed entitled How Gay Men Saved Us From Mpox 


Apparently, that was just a sabbatical that Ms. MPox went on. Because she’s kinda back. 




According to NBC News, the “rise of mpox cases in Chicago raises concern about [a] possible summer spread. Diagnosed cases have been ‘increasing slightly’ in eight countries the past three weeks, some in vaccinated people, the World Health Organization said.” Howard Brown Health Clinic in Chicago just reported EIGHT new cases. Eight seems like a small number for there to be this much of an alarm, right? Then we find out that only one case had been reported — in the past three months.

Get this monkey off my back!  The rise in cases is alarming enough for the county of Los Angeles Public Health to just release a statement strongly recommending getting vaccinated before Pride next month. 




Dr. Marc C. Shamier, a resident in clinical microbiology at University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands spoke to NBC News explaining,

“this level of immunity is not sufficient to fully stop viral circulation, so sporadic clusters of monkeypox are to be expected. Large-scale events such as annual Pride parties could increase the number of sexual contacts among the risk group, which may lead to a rise in viral circulation and infections.”

Of the eight infections in Chicago, all were gay or bisexual men. Six were fully vaccinated, one unvaccinated and the eight had one dose. The good news is that all eight were very mild infections with none of them requiring any sort of pain treatment. Glass half full?


According to the CDC, more than 1.2 million doses of the Jynneos vaccine have been administered across the country to 725,000 people, 90% of them male. The agency estimates that only 1 in 4 of those most at risk, including gay and bi men and transgender people, have been fully vaccinated.

We did it before. We will do it again. Another battle. Guess we better go and get our armor on.





Source: NBC News

Leave a Comment