We’re not sure what we’re allowed to say or not say about monkeypox. Last month, the CDC issued “safer sex” guidelines for those infected with monkeypox, such as, “Have virtual sex with no in-person contact.” White House Covid Response Coordinator Ashish Jha addressed monkeypox Monday in the White House briefing room and stressed that it’s “really important” not to use this moment “to propagate homophobic or transphobic messaging.” Is that what the science says?

Former Biden White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt seems to disagree with the CDC and says it doesn’t make any sense that reducing sexual activity would reduce the number of monkeypox cases.

But then …

The New York City Health Department, which wants the WHO to change the name “monkeypox” due to its “painful and racist history,” is giving monkeypox vaccinations. You’re eligible if you are “a gay, bisexual, or other man who has sex with men and/or are transgender, gender non-conforming, or gender non-binary,” over 18, and have had multiple or anonymous sex partners.

Was this all OK to discuss? We all know it’s “really important” not to propagate homophobic and transphobic messaging.


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