a “more burden” for the LGTBI collective

Monkeypox is making its way into our country and the number of cases is increasing every day. Spain currently has almost 5,000 people infected and A stigma has developed around this disease which places an additional burden on the LGTBI community.

Of the cases detected by monkeypox, 98% are male. Alarms within the LGTBI collective skyrocketed when the president of the World Health Organization (WHO) himself recommended that men who have sex with men limit the number of sexual partners to reduce contagion .

The president of the Association of Lesbians and Gays of Melilla (Amlega), Rafael Calatrava, points out that the stigma generated around monkeypox supposes “an additional burden for the group that must be carried”.

In this direction, transmission of monkeypox has little to do with sexual orientation and the sexual practices that each performs. Close physical contact is the main cause of contagion, but it can also occur through friction in a crowded place or on public transport, for example.

“We can’t tell people not to have sex,” Calatrava says. “Just by going to a party, even if you don’t have sex, you can get monkeypox because it’s spread through droplets of saliva or just touching your hands. It can spread in many ways. “

From Amlega, they transferred to Public Health their concern to inform all the doctors in the city about the disease and how to act. The Ministry reports that indeed, all the necessary information has already been provided to all those working in primary care.

The General Council of Nursing (CGE) in Spain launched a press release where they explained all the details of monkeypox and through which they asked not to stigmatize any group, since it is a disease that affects the entire population . In it, the coordinator of the Spanish Nursing Research Institute of the CGE, Guadalupe Fontán, considers it inadmissible to point the finger at certain people because of their sexual orientation.

“The LGTBI community was extremely stigmatized and rejected forty years ago with the appearance of HIV. We cannot allow something similar to happen again,” says Fontán. “Monkey pox can spread from person to person and it’s something we can’t stop saying.”

In addition, the CGE has produced an infographic explaining how monkeypox is transmitted and what its symptoms are, and which the Melilla association itself has shared both on its website and on its social networks.

Likewise, Fontán recalls that there are antiviral treatments and vaccines to combat the disease and recalls that people who have risk factors for contracting it or who have been in close contact with an infected person go to professionals health to get vaccinated.

In Spain, more than 7,000 vaccines are on their way to combat monkeypox. For now, the Ministry of Health has assigned four vaccines to the Autonomous City of Melilla to be administered to four people at risk and likely to contract the disease.

Faced with the arrival of only four vaccines in the city, the president of Amlega showed his indignation, since the risk of contracting the disease is suffered by many more people and, therefore, more vaccines are needed.

Even so, Calatrava understands that the Autonomous City has nothing to do with this distribution, since the Ministry is responsible for the allocation of the relevant vaccines to the Autonomous Communities and Autonomous Cities. For now, we’ll have to wait to see when the next mission takes place in Melilla.

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