The risk of stigma with monkeypox


Finland today announced the first case of monkeypox, joining the long list of European countries with confirmed cases. According to the medical report, the patient is stable and recovering at home.

In Spain, more than 80 cases have been confirmed. The initial focus was a sauna frequented by the homosexual community and the fear of stigma is present. Hugo Teixeira, a physical trainer, says that prejudice exists and is exaggerated. He considers that the comment about the disease appearing “only in the gay community” is unfortunate”.


The scientific community insists that it is not a sexual disease. Andrea Antinori, a specialist in viral immunodeficiencies at the Spallanzani Hospital in Rome, explains that transmission takes place through close contacts, such as sexual intercourse, but stresses that they are not the only possible close contacts. At the moment, Andrea Antinori does not want to identify monkeypox as a sexually transmitted disease and, above all, to identify men who have sex with men as having this disease. He believes that this is also a problem of responsibility from the point of view of not stigmatizing the situation.

The specialist says that there are still many doubts about the disease “because we are facing a new wave that is different from the way we knew it in the past”. According to the World Health Organization, there are around 200 confirmed cases worldwide, and this number may just be the tip of the iceberg. Even so, the WHO does not recommend mass vaccination.

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