In the past few days we have received messages from members of the public who have been understandably worried about the current and evolving Monkeypox virus outbreak, particularly given the media emphasis on community transmission among MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) communities.
Monkeypox IS NOT an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) but is spread by close bodily contact with an infected person. If a virus is introduced into any particular community it will tend to spread within that community.
The Monkeypox virus can affect any individuals of any sexuality if they come into close bodily contact with an infected person.
There is no reason to believe that people living with HIV on effective therapy are more susceptible or more affected – although people not on treatment with a compromised immune system may be more significantly affected, as with any virus infection.
If you believe you have been infected, or are showing symptoms, please do not attend a sexual health service or hospital in person. Instead, please call your local sexual health service or NHS 111 who will be able to guide you on the next steps.
We advise anyone worried about or interested in the current transmission of this virus to visit these pages, which are regularly updated with official and reliable information:
- NHS UK – Monkeypox: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/monkeypox/
- UK Government guidance on Monkeypox: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/monkeypox
- Public Health England guidance for Primary Care workers: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/850059/Monkeypox_information_for_primary_care.pdf
- British HIV Association statement for clinicians managing people living with HIV: https://www.bhiva.org/BHIVA-rapid-statement-on-monkeypox-virus
Disclaimer: the situation surrounding the current Monkeypox outbreak is rapidly evolving, and so is the information and guidance. Please continue to check the links above for the latest information.