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UN denounces racist, homophobic monkeypox reporting

This 1997 image provided by the CDC  during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, and depicts the dorsal surfaces of the hands of a monkeypox case patient, who was displaying the appearance of the characteristic rash during its recuperative stage. (CDC via AP)
This 1997 image provided by the CDC during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, and depicts the dorsal surfaces of the hands of a monkeypox case patient, who was displaying the appearance of the characteristic rash during its recuperative stage. (CDC via AP)

The United Nations’ AIDS agency calls some reporting on the monkeypox virus racist and homophobic, warning of exacerbating stigma and undermining the response to the growing outbreak.

UNAIDS says “a significant proportion” of recent monkeypox cases have been identified among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. But transmission is most likely via close physical contact with a monkeypox sufferer and could affect anyone, it adds, saying some portrayals of Africans and LGBTI people “reinforce homophobic and racist stereotypes and exacerbate stigma.”

As of May 21, the World Health Organization received reports of 92 laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases and 28 suspected cases, from 12 countries where the disease is not endemic, including several European nations, the United States, Australia, Israel, and Canada.

Monkeypox symptoms include fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and a chickenpox-like rash on the hands and face.

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