The World Health Organisation has advised men to reduce the number of sexual partners they have, as they are at higher risk of contracting monkeypox.
According to the WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, he said 98 per cent of reported cases involved bisexual and other men who have sex with men, he advises them to reduce the number of sexual partners.
However, WHO noted that anyone can be infected. “In addition to the transmission through sexual contact, monkeypox can also be spread in households through close contact between people, such as hugging and kissing, and on contaminated towels or bedding.
Meanwhile, a WHO adviser on HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections, said experts had determined the monkeypox outbreak was “clearly transmitted during sex”, but he said they had not yet concluded whether or not it was a sexually transmitted infection.
Andy Seale stressed that “the messaging around the need for gay and bisexual men to reduce their number of sexual partners was “coming from the communities themselves”. But he said this was possible only “a short-term message as we hope that the outbreak, of course, will be short-lived”.
Dr Hugh Adler, who treats monkeypox patients in the UK, further said the virus was being transmitted during sex and that sexual networks and anonymous sex with untraceable partners were facilitating its spread. “It’s just as likely that monkeypox was always capable of transmitting and presenting like this, but it hadn’t been formally reported or so widespread before.”