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WHO chief advises men who have sex with men to reduce partners to limit exposure to monkeypox

“That is an outbreak that may be stopped if international locations, communities and people inform themselves, take the danger critically and take the steps wanted to cease transmission and defend susceptible teams. One of the best ways to do this is to cut back the danger of publicity. Meaning making protected selections for your self and others.

“For males who’ve intercourse with males, this consists of, for the second, lowering your variety of sexual companions, reconsidering intercourse with new companions and exchanging contact particulars with any new companions to allow followup, if wanted,” Tedros mentioned at a briefing.

Whereas Tedros mentioned the main focus for all international locations have to be on partaking and empowering communities of males who’ve intercourse with males to cut back the danger of an infection and transmission, he additionally cautioned nations to safeguard human rights.

“The stigma and discrimination could be as harmful as any virus,” he mentioned.

Monkeypox is not thought of a sexually transmitted illness, however most individuals who’ve gotten it within the US just lately report some stage of sexual exercise, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, a US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention official engaged on the monkeypox response, advised CNN this month. That may embody penetrative encounters in addition to oral intercourse.

The virus spreads primarily although skin-on-skin bodily contact, however it can be transmitted by touching objects like sheets or towels which will have been utilized by anyone with monkeypox, in addition to by means of shut face-to-face interactions like kissing.

Researchers are investigating whether or not the virus could be unfold by somebody who has no signs or by means of semen, vaginal fluids and fecal matter, according to the CDC.
The CDC says that carrying a condom might assist, however alone, it most likely is not going to defend in opposition to the unfold of monkeypox. Nevertheless, the company nonetheless emphasizes that condoms can stop different sexually transmitted infections.

Tedros’ feedback about lowering intercourse companions are among the many strongest but on the matter. Different WHO communications have not been characterised so sharply.

“Lowering your variety of sexual companions might scale back your danger,” one WHO flyer reads.
“How can I defend myself?” another says. “To catch monkeypox, you want skin-to-skin contact, together with throughout intercourse, with somebody infectious or their contaminated belongings. To scale back the danger of contracting monkeypox: follow safer intercourse, preserve your fingers clear.”
“Do not forget that shut bodily contact, together with intercourse, might enhance your danger of publicity. Having a number of and frequent sexual contacts, together with with nameless companions, might put you extra liable to an infection of monkeypox. To guard your self follow safer intercourse,” a third WHO flyer advises.

Well being officers within the US have additionally suggested lowering intercourse companions however used softer language.

What is monkeypox, and how can you stay safe as it spreads?

“Keep away from skin-to-skin contact, together with intimate contact, with individuals who have a rash that appears like monkeypox. Different hurt discount actions embody minimizing sexual exercise with a number of or nameless sexual companions,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky mentioned in mid-July.

Daskalakis suggested final week, “Consistent with our hurt discount steerage, fascinated about lowering your variety of companions, doubtlessly attempting to keep away from nameless contacts finally ends up being good from the attitude of reducing the danger of publicity.”

The CDC additionally says individuals may wish to scale back pores and skin contact as a lot as potential by having intercourse with garments on or after masking areas the place the rash is current. In the event that they select to have intercourse with somebody who has monkeypox or who might need been uncovered to it, they need to speak in regards to the virus forward of time.

One other factor individuals can do to guard themselves is keep away from shut face-to-face contact like kissing with those that are clearly contaminated.

Scientists are nonetheless finding out how monkeypox is spreading on this outbreak, however they are saying individuals aren’t getting sick after, say, strolling previous somebody or giving them a hug and brushing over a lesion on their pores and skin.

“If it is a hug that does not essentially embody a shirt, there is a theoretical danger of transmission there, however that is not what we’re listening to by way of what’s occurring with our instances, so it is decrease danger. I am unable to say zero danger,” Daskalakis mentioned.

Quite, it is longer contact that appears to be liable for most instances now. “In the event you had been to ask me how lengthy ‘lengthy’ is, I am unable to reply that query, however it appears as if it is potential that this isn’t being transmitted by a light-weight brush,” Daskalaskis mentioned. “Realistically talking, skin-on-skin contact of any selection theoretically can transmit monkeypox, however what we’re seeing is, you form of need to work at it a bit.”

CNN’s Jen Christensen contributed to this report.

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