The LGBTQ community in Spain has advocated abstinence and restricting sexual partners in a bid to combat the monkeypox outbreak.
After Spain recorded its first death from monkeypox on Saturday, which at the time was only seen in Brazil and Africa, the country’s gay community took action to fight the virus “whether it’s abstinence, avoiding nightclubs, limiting sexual partners or a swift pushing for the introduction of vaccines,” says Agence France-Presse.
“I’d rather be careful with this monkey thing. … I don’t have sex anymore, I don’t go to parties anymore, and that’s until I’m vaccinated and have some immunity,” Antonio, 35, from Madrid, told the outlet.
Antonio, who declined to give his last name, said he frequented nightclubs and the occasional sex party before the monkeypox outbreak, which mainly infected men who had sex with men. He also said the world would have acted quicker if monkeypox wasn’t a “queer disease.”
“It’s not like Covid, the vaccine already exists, there’s no need to invent it. If it wasn’t a queer disease, we would have acted more – and faster,” said Antonio, who had to wait up to three weeks for the vaccine due to the many appointments.
With over 18,000 estimated cases of the virus worldwide, Spain has become one of the hardest-hit countries outside of Africa, with a total of 4,298 estimated infections. Just last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) asked gay and bisexual men to limit the number of their sexual partners for the time being.
“Right now, for men who have sex with men, this means reducing the number of sexual partners, reconsidering sex with new partners, and sharing contact details with new partners to enable follow-up if necessary,” the WHO director said. General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Tedros also urged big tech platforms to regulate the stigma that can be attached to stopping the virus.
“The stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus and fuel the outbreak. As we’ve seen with Covid-19 misinformation, that information can spread quickly online,” he said.
Nahum Cabrera, who heads an umbrella organization of more than 50 LGBTQ organizations across Spain, said the government must vaccinate those most at risk immediately, including those who “have regular sex with multiple partners, as well as those who are frequent swingers.” are”. Clubs, LGTBI saunas, etc.”
“There’s a danger that a false sense of security will arise in the general population, and they’ll relax in the thought that they’re safe and that only happens to men who have sex with men,” he said.
“We are facing a health emergency … affecting the LGBTI community, so people consider it insignificant that it is not serious,” said Ivan Zaro of the NGO Imagina MAS (Imagine More). “That’s exactly what happened with HIV 40 years ago.”