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.