Sex between men driving monkeypox spread, not skin contact, studies show

“It looks very clear to us that this is an infection that is transmitting sexually the vast majority of the time,” Dr. Lao-Tzu Allan-Blitz said

Updated: August 18, 2022 - 6:05pm

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Recent scientific evidence suggests that sexual interactions between men are driving the spread of monkeypox rather than skin contact, as previously thought.

The Biden administration declared a public health emergency over the disease in early August. On Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told Just the News that the government had acquired 1 million monkeypox vaccinations and was preparing to procure millions more.

Pointing to a string of recent studies, health experts have begun to question that skin on skin contact was the primary transmission method, instead pointing to same-sex oral and anal intercourse, NBC reported. Initial outbreaks spread primarily through gay communities, with gay men comprising the overwhelming majority of confirmed cases.

“It looks very clear to us that this is an infection that is transmitting sexually the vast majority of the time,” Dr. Lao-Tzu Allan-Blitz, a resident physician in global health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, wrote in a medical review the outlet highlighted.

“A growing body of evidence supports that sexual transmission, particularly through seminal fluids, is occurring with the current MPX outbreak,” said University of Chicago Sexual Wellness Clinic Medical Director Dr. Aniruddha Hazra, per the outlet.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in August updated its guidelines to reflect the change in consensus on the likely method of monkeypox transmission.

"Take a temporary break from activities that increase exposure to monkeypox until you are two weeks after your second dose. This will greatly reduce your risk" and "Limit your number of sex partners to reduce your likelihood of exposure," the CDC recommended.

The administration announced on Thursday that the Danish company Bavarian Nordic had reached an agreement with Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing (GRAM) to produce monkeypox vaccines in the U.S., according to The Hill.