Leaders in the domains of public health and social justice are afraid that individuals would be dissuaded from seeking treatment for their diseases due to the stigma that is associated with these conditions in society.
It has been reported that there has been an increase in the number of cases of monkeypox, and the authorities in charge of public health in the area urge festivalgoers to be aware of this as they attend the renowned Pride celebrations in Chicago.
As of Tuesday, there were 65 confirmed cases in the United States, eight of which were located in the state of Illinois. Officials from the health department said that seven of the eight people live in Chicago.
Even though it was first discovered in Africa, the monkeypox virus has only lately made its way to Europe. The disease can be passed from one person to another by physical contact that is very close to the skin, such as while embracing, kissing, or dancing with an infected individual. According to Howard Brown Health, the illness can be spread from person to person through the sharing of a mattress, towel, or article of clothing.
Dr. Steven Thrasher of Northwestern University is alerting people about the stigmas surrounding infectious diseases among gay and bisexual individuals. This is even though a substantial majority of the infections are affecting homosexual and bisexual individuals.
Thrasher draws attention to how the stigmas associated with HIV and monkeypox are comparable.
According to Thrasher pointed out, “There is a very equivalent stigma that comes out when these viruses are assumed to be African or imagined to be homosexual in a manner that other areas of the globe don’t care.” “The negative effects of homophobia on one’s health are widespread. Because of homophobia, many people are afraid of being “outed” as homosexual when they finally do so. This is one of the most significant challenges posed by homophobia.”
According to Thrasher, this may make afflicted individuals less likely to seek medical assistance.
“Anything that makes people feel ashamed is not only going to affect them, but it is going to hurt the public health generally because they are not going to come forward,” said Dr. Thrasher. ” Anything that causes people to feel humiliated will not only affect those individuals, but it will also hurt the health of the general population.”
Fever, discomfort, and a rash or lesions appearing anywhere on the body are some of the symptoms of monkeypox.
According to Liz Thompson of Howard Brown Health, a full recovery, especially if you are immunocompromised, might take three weeks or more. This is especially true if you have been sick for a while.
In a manner parallel to that of Thrasher, Thompson emphasizes the need of teaching others about the fact that this disease affects persons of a wide variety of sexual orientations and gender identities. This coming weekend’s Pride Fest is where Howard Brown intends to spread the word about his cause.
According to Thompson, having one-on-one talks allows for the delivery of a “far more tailored message.” He emphasized the need of using personalized communications.
At the Howard Brown Health facility, there are a total of seven contact tracers looking out for cases of COVID-19 as well as monkeypox.
In addition, Howard Brown is offering those who have been infected with the disease the opportunity to get vaccinated against smallpox.
According to Thompson, the infection will not necessarily cure the condition in a person who already has it, but it may lessen the severity of the sickness and the number of symptoms that are encountered.
When it comes to avoiding the sickness from spreading to other people, Thompson recommends maintaining an appropriate distance from other individuals, using a face mask, and doing frequent self-examinations to check for any signs of infection on the skin.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no indication that this poses a risk to the health of the general population.