The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released data which reveal that almost 20% of the gay men who have contracted monkeypox in the U.S. had reported having intercourse with multiple men.
According to data from the CDC, about 7,509 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported in the U.S., with about 98% of those cases being among gay/bisexual men.
And in the weeks leading up to their symptom presentation, the large majority of men had numerous sexual partners.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus shared that given the patterns of transmission “this is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups.”
The CDC has 'released data finding the monkeypox outbreak is concentrated among men who have had sex with several men.' From @WSJ: https://t.co/wA4roT7F7D pic.twitter.com/eTzSQ48XuC
— Byron York (@ByronYork) August 5, 2022
The Daily Caller reported more on the growing number of monkeypox cases:
In addition to the 19% of men who said they had 10 or more partners over the three weeks preceding symptoms, 40% reported having two to four partners and 14% reported five to nine partners. 38% reported having group sex at a festival, group sex event or sex party.
The data was pulled from a sample of 358 men who contracted monkeypox for which data was available on recent sexual behaviors. That represents about 12% of all confirmed monkeypox cases in the U.S. between May 17 and July 22, the time period which the report covers. Age and gender identity data was available for 41% of all cases nationwide.
Of the 334 cases for which HIV status was known, 41% of patients were HIV-positive. Only 8% of patients were hospitalized, and there were no reported deaths. There remain zero confirmed deaths caused by monkeypox in the United States or Europe in 2022.
The Biden administration declared a public health emergency due to monkeypox last week, after the World Health Organization had already done so in July. Critics have accused the administration of not acting fast enough to respond to the outbreak, particularly as it regards vaccine procurement and distribution.
Data from the CDC, as well as the WHO and European health authorities, have increasingly shown that the virus is almost exclusively spreading within the homosexual male community, with some outlier cases within other demographics. Still, health authorities are engaged in intense debate over how to target messaging on the risks associated with monkeypox due to fears of directing stigma toward gay and bisexual men.
In its latest report, released Friday, the CDC admits “public health efforts should prioritize gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.” However, the agency still does not recommend that gay and bisexual men have fewer sexual partners in its guidance on safe sex during the monkeypox outbreak. The WHO made that recommendation last month.
The CDC has posted recommendations on their website, which include avoiding intimate contact if you or the other person is sick or has a rash.
Suggested alternatives include virtual sex and distanced masturbation as a way to prevent the spread of the virus.
The rollout of the monkeypox vaccine has left many people frustrated due to inadequate access to testing as well as limited supplies.