Remember monkeypox? Well, it’s now known as “mpox.” And you may start seeing it pop up in the news again. We have learned a lot since the massive outbreak last summer, but still have a lot of unanswered questions. Here’s what you need to know, particularly going into Pride month.
This phrasing reminds me of the way we used to talk about HIV/AIDS risk in the 1990s. Which meant I spent years in the 2000s in the Global South trying to undo the messaging that only men who have sex with men, drug users, or sex workers have to think about condom usage. I had to drill it into ppl’s minds that if you have sex, you are at risk and should use a condom.
This could’ve been phrased so much differently. You could have said, “Mpox continues to spread through one very tight social network: men who have sex with men. Yes, some straight men got it, as well as women and children, but at relatively low rates. While current spread is through this one social group, because it is spread through close, intimate contact, anyone is at risk, but men who have sex with men should be on higher alert right now.”
Do you see how less stigmatizing that statement is as well as accurate? It really just takes one bi-sexual man to bring it to another population, correct? I mean are we really so obtuse as to think the men who have sex with men population “keeps to themselves” and women and non-binary ppl never have relations with those queer men?
I spent four years explaining that the risk of the virus is associated with the ACT (in this case close, intimate contact), NOT THE GROUP of the person that you have sex with.
Please don’t make health educator’s jobs harder for when we do need to go to the masses and explain to them that it is possible for them to be at risk for a virus. That viruses don’t follow certain groups of people (groups that are often perceived negatively), they just follow people who engage in close intimate contact.
I am annoyed because it just seems like we learn nothing. Like, if this is how we are talking about mpox in 2023, what did we learn about our failures re: risk assessment and messaging from HIV/AIDS? Ughhhhhhhh
Much appreciated, as always. In these times, it doesn’t seem we can safely assume this, so I ask re your statement whether “men” and “women” as used here refer to biology, gender identification, or both: “Mpox continues to spread through one very tight social network: men who have sex with men. Yes, some straight men got it, as well as women and children, but at relatively low rates. (Of all the cases worldwide, 1% were children and 3% were women, and they were mainly household close contacts.)”
First, let me thank you for your newsletter which I've been following since nearly the beginning. This might sound a bit pedantic, but I wish people wouldn't describe asymmetric epidemic curves as "bell-shaped." In general, they aren't bell-shaped and this particular curve isn't close to a bell-shape. Describing it that way props up the fallacy that an epidemic will have nearly symmetric rise and fall and that the peak and fall can be predicted from the early shape of the epidemic curve, regardless of interventions. This is sometimes called "Farr's Law," but it's a fallacy, not a law. People brought it up (and variations) early in the COVID-19 pandemic (and also AIDS) to argue that interventions wouldn't have any effect, or attempted to use variations on it resulting in disastrous pandemic modeling (IHME, for example). Even a simple SIR model is not a symmetric bell curve, and when there are also behavioral changes, vaccinations, and multiple subpopulations (with geographic, demographic, social, and other differences), you end up with a curve that is often even less bell-shaped.
Thank you for all the work you do. I'm wondering what you may know about the cancer drug shortages. I have a friend who cannot get her much needed Uterine Cancer Chemo as the drug is not available, the alternative is not great and costs her $1000 for each treatment. Thank you
IIRC, if one integrates that “bell” curve, one obtains a logistic curve. The logistic function has more readily obtained information and, IMAO, is more beautiful. Re: sensitivity, triggers, etc. Reminds me of the people who rail against teaching CRT. Unfortunately, words may lead to offensive behavior, so telling ppl to thicken their skins is inappropriate.
Super data summary & super fact checker. Retired Bruin,
With the flow of airborne particles from Canada wildfires, should people who are over 65, immunocompromised etc wear masks outdoors until this passes? If so which ones?will Covid style masks be sufficient?