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Health Officials walk fine line as Monkeypox Swells within LGBT Community

As they work to contain the Monkeypox outbreak, state and local governments must tread carefully to avoid stigmatising the illness, which has so far only impacted males who have sex with men. According to Will Goedel, a professor at the Brown University School of Public Health, “the tightrope you’re trying to walk is making sure that people don’t see it as just a gay men’s illness, but not alarming people so that they use up resources that need to go to the people who need to be helped the most right now.”

Nearly three months after the first cases of Monkeypox in the United States were discovered in Massachusetts, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra formally proclaimed Monkeypox to be a public health emergency in the country on Thursday. More than 7,000 cases of Monkeypox have been reported nationwide, with concentrations in the states of New York, California, and Illinois. In response to the rising demand for resources like vaccinations and testing, each of these governments has issued its own emergency directives.

“We are aware that everyone is affected by this virus equally, but we are also aware that the LGBTQ population is currently at higher risk. After announcing a public health emergency for the city last week, San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) stated in a statement that many members of the LGBTQ community are terrified and furious. Susan Philip, a public health official in San Francisco, stated in an interview with The Hill that it is essential to raise awareness and educate the most susceptible areas.

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