The monkeypox outbreak represents a global public health emergencydeclared this Saturday the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
So far this year, there have been more than 16 thousand cases of monkeypox in more than 75 countries and five deaths in Africa. In his statement, Tedros pointed out that although a global emergency was declared, at the moment it is an outbreak that is concentrated between men who have sex with other men, especially those with multiple sexual partners.
He explained that the current status of the outbreak allows it to be stopped with the correct strategies in the correct groups. The director of the WHO urged countries to work with this sector of the community to design and deliver effective information and services, and to adopt measures that protect the health, human rights and dignity of affected communities.
In addition, he called on civil society organizations, including those with experience in working with people living with HIV, to work together with health authorities in the fight against stigma and discrimination.
During the press conference from Geneva, Switzerland, Tedros warned:
“Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus.”
In May, when the first positive cases outside of Africa were reported, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) repudiated “stereotyped” information and comments linking homosexual men to the spread of monkeypox.
He pointed out that although most of the cases had been located in that community, the WHO had detailed that the evidence suggests that those who are most at risk are those who have had close physical contact with someone with monkeypox.
and that risk not limited to men who have sex with men“, the UN program said in a statement.
In recent days, countries like Spain and the United States reported the first cases of monkeypox in children.