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Monkeypox a new worry for gay and bi men


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Posted (edited)

I just read an account in the CBC news that cases of monkeypox, similar to smallpox, but spread initially by animals, have affected a number of British gay and bi men. Some of these are related to travel to Lisbon, Portugal and others to Africa. 

The good news is that there is treatment available but it still sounds nasty. It can be spread through intimate contact including sexual intercourse.

Edited by Luv2play
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I heard on the 6 o'clock news that there are 13 reported cases in Quebec, that the US announced its first case in a man from Boston who had been in Montreal recently, and they are linking this disease to gay men. 

This reminds me earily of 1980 when I was visiting San Francisco and stories of a "gay" disease started to circulate. We all know how that turned out.

While this disease does not appear to be anything new, its spread to northernmost countries is new. Also the report tonight said there is no effective treatment but that a smallpox vaccination could help.

Just reporting the news here. Nothing to laugh about but needs to be kept in perspective.

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According to the UK Govt website, there are 9 cases in the UK as of May 14.
 

The latest cases (2) have no connection to the previous cases and no travel links to areas where monkeypox is endemic.

A difficulty is that the rash associated with monkeypox looks similar to what is often seen with syphilis. 

 

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Posted (edited)

This issue is getting a lot of media attention here in Canada where the first dozen or more cases have centred in Montreal amongst gay men. The expert doctors in infectious tropical diseases say it originates in Africa and there are two types of the disease. One is from West Africa and is milder and the more serious form is from the Congo.

The less serious version has a mortality rate of 1 percent or one in a hundred. There is no effective treatment but a smallpox vaccination can confer about 75 percent protection. 

The spread is by intimate contact such as touching sores on skin but not sexual so not considered an STI. One can contract it from shared clothes or bedding as the virus lives outside the animal host.

The symptoms are fever and painful rash and postules breaking out on the skin, especially around the genitals and extremities like hands.The condition can last for several weeks and patients must isolate.

Bottom line, you don't want to get it. My conclusion is that this will put a damper on the lapdance industry in Montreal, especially in gay bars. Also could crimp the escort biz until more is known about the spread of this disease. 

Edited by Luv2play
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4 hours ago, Luv2play said:

....The spread is by intimate contact such as touching sores on skin but not sexual so not considered an STI. One can contract it from shared clothes or bedding as the virus lives outside the animal host...

I'm no expert on monkeypox, but if it's spread the same way as smallpox was, the virus is airborne (transmitted the same as SARS-CoV2, via droplets). Maybe a better reason to wear masks--although in the case of smallpox, transmission was only spread by someone with visible lesions. Assuming it's spread similarly to smallpox, a person will have to have lesions, though you don't have to touch them. Just being in the same room for long enough time can expose others. Although it's not an STI, if someone is contagious and you're intimate with him, you could very well get it. Don't think having sex with him will somehow protect you. 

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We've now had the first cases in Australia, among people who have recently returned from the UK. I heard an infectious diseases academic on the radio this afternoon say that it's not as contagious as smallpox, and that transmission has historically been unusual but not unknown between humans, and more common as direct transmission from an infected animal. She said that smallpox vaccinations are protective, as previous posters have noted, and also that there are smallpox anti-virals that are protective. We never had community vaccination programs against it here so perhaps 10% of the population has been vaccinated, me amongst them for travel in the 1970s.

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I don't think this should be a major worry. But if you see someone with a rash, definitely do not have contact with them. I am actually generally curious if these exposures are happening at a bathhouse or somewhere where it's hard to see. I am currently on a Eurotrip and though I visited some bathhouses early on, I think I'm actually going to avoid them now. 

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Leave it to a bunch of horny gay men to figure out how to make any disease into an STD. There was a big COVID outbreak last summer at Provincetown as well. We just want to be around a bunch of other men and aren't always the safest when we do so. Fortunately, I do think gay men are good about quickly taking care of any health issues when they become apparent so hopefully this will be nipped in the bud quickly.

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11 hours ago, mike carey said:

...smallpox vaccinations are protective, as previous posters have noted, and also that there are smallpox anti-virals that are protective...

So if you get monkeypox, just go over to your pharmacy and ask for one of those "smallpox antivirals." 🤣 (Nothing like that is being manufactured) It's a bit of a leap of faith to say the smallpox vaccine will be effective prevention (no randomized clinical trials, and little in terms of even observational data), though more likely than not to be true, since inoculation with cowpox protects from smallpox. No way to know at this point if the virus will take off in the human population. I'd say at this point, I'm a bit more concerned about monkeypox than I am of omicron--but not by much so far. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, keroscenefire said:

Leave it to a bunch of horny gay men to figure out how to make any disease into an STD. There was a big COVID outbreak last summer at Provincetown as well...

You definitely don't need to have sex to get Covid-19. It's easy to see how it can spread quickly, though. I've been going to these crowded venues almost once a week, and my partner at least twice a week, over the last 3 months. 

 

Edited by Unicorn
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I am in Europe now and I read the news today about men who have sex with other men...its really annoying to see how the media frames us... Anyway but I thought it is good to pause sex for a while because of the incubation period. Let them figure out what's causing it and I am on the road so I don't have to have any medical issues atm. I find escorts are in the high risk group if it is spreading fast among gay and bi men.... 

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I read this and found it to be useful.  This strain of monkeypox doesn't appear to be significantly mutated from earlier varieties, so it's unlikely to be spreading differently. It's also doesn't appear to spread asymptomatically. For the most part someone has to have be symptomatic to spread the virus to others. Since the rash is distinct and often starts on the face, it should be fairly easy to avoid contact with infected people.

That's why I truly am wondering if many of the outbreaks could be traced back to like some kind of party or bathhouse or something where it was hard to see and perhaps one infected person spread it to many either directly or indirectly (through contaminated bedsheets). 

Bottom line, one-on-one spread of Monkeypox is probably very unlikely even with escorts. Ask the usual questions in this: How are you feeling? Any rashes? 

But yeah since the incubation period is kind of long (up to five days), we definitely should monitor ourselves for symptoms and get checked out ASAP. I went to a bathhouse in France on Thursday and so far feel fine but will monitor myself for sure.

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On 5/20/2022 at 8:55 AM, keroscenefire said:

I am currently on a Eurotrip and though I visited some bathhouses early on, I think I'm actually going to avoid them now. 

That seems sensible to me @keroscenefire The Spanish media are talking about a cluster of 31 cases in the Madrid region. They say it’s mainly linked to an unnamed sauna. 

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Reportedly the smallpox vaccine protects against this.  Smallpox was considered eradicated and routine vaccinations were discontinued in the early 1980's.   I remember having to get the shot before going to first grade...it left a noticeable scab for severl weeks before it dropped off, as well as a visible scar when it did.  

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People of my generation got the smallpox vaccination in grade school and it left a scar on the shoulder where it was administered. Apparently it conferred lifetime immunity to smallpox and didn't need boostering.

Experts I've read are also saying that it should be somewhat effective against Monkeypox.

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escorts rarely report their symptoms accurately, I find it silly to ask if anyone has a disease. I assume they would say no even if they suspect something. Anyway, the worrying part is that the spanish spread is linked to a sauna, i am guessing it was a gay sauna given most people who are infected are being reported as gay or bi....it would be sad if this disease outs someone just because a closeted guy visits a sauna secretly or had sex with a guy who was infected etc. makes thermas in Barcelona a lot less attractive...

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Its easy to conflate the two but men who go to the saunas aren't typically escort clients, who are generally older and willing to pay vastly higher fees than found at the typical gay sauna. 

My sauna cruising days are a couple of decades behind me now that I am in my 70s. I only see escorts for fun and play. 

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10 hours ago, Luv2play said:

....Experts I've read are also saying that it should be somewhat effective against Monkeypox.

Although it's an educated guess, there's really little science behind that statement. I definitely wouldn't count on that being the case. I suspect that the reason disease outbreaks seemed to have traced to saunas is that they have all of these dark rooms where one might not notice lesions. Probably the wisest course at this point is to avoid getting together (and especially being intimate) with someone you can't see clearly. 

Madrid Gay Sauna Guide 2022 - reviews, photos, gay map

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Posted (edited)

Articles like this suck because it does kinda reinforce some stigma against MSM and especially Black MSMs (since this virus seems to originate in Africa and even has a racist undertone to it).
 

people love to ask if one is neg/d-d free. If one even has to ask that, over a lousy  text, that shows of level of sexual responsibility immaturity.

That’s like going to the grocery store, and asking: “Is this rib-eye 🥩  safe to eat?” Would it be on display if it wasn’t? And even if it was, that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t take a whiff or not cook it. And if you do it rare or raw, there’s a statement re: undercooked meat and it’s at your own risk 😆 

Edited by Jarrod_Uncut
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Posted (edited)
On 5/21/2022 at 3:52 PM, young11 said:

escorts rarely report their symptoms accurately,

The best way to protect yourself against dishonesty is to see a few escorts consistently, rather than many, constantly.   The better you get to know an individual, or just a few individuals, you'll be surprised how much they reveal about themselves.  Even the most guarded escorts will spill the beans about all sorts of things, once the intimacy and sense of interdependence, in a good way, is there.

All healthy relationships take work.  

Edited by Rod Hagen
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Posted (edited)

We obviously know very little about how transmission works right now but the fact that transmission seems to be predominant amongst gay men should raise a few eyebrows since there are way more straight people than gay people. If it turns out that this is something condoms can mitigate then that would strengthen the argument that PrEP is not some sort of free pass to bareback. 

Edited by Quincy_7
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