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Spain’s LGBTQ community advocates abstinence to fight monkeypox

The LGBTQ community in Spain has advocated abstinence and limiting sexual partners to combat the monkeypox epidemic.

After Spain recorded its first monkeypox-related death on Saturday, something only seen in Brazil and Africa at this point, the country’s gay community sprang into action to fight back. the virus “whether it’s abstinence, avoiding nightclubs, limiting sexual partners or pushing for rapid deployment of the vaccine,” according to Agence France-Presse.

“With this monkey thing, I prefer to be careful. … I don’t have sex anymore, I don’t go to parties anymore, until I’m vaccinated and have some immunity,” said Antonio, 35, from Madrid.

Antonio, who declined to give his surname, said he frequently attended nightclubs and occasional sex parties before the outbreak of monkeypox, which primarily infected men who have sex with men. He also said the world would have acted faster if monkeypox wasn’t a “queer disease”.

“It’s not like Covid, the vaccine already exists, there’s no need to invent it. If it wasn’t a strange disease, we would have acted more – and faster,” said Antonio , who waited up to three weeks to receive the vaccine due to the high volume of appointments.

A nurse prepares the Monkeypox vaccine at the Pride Center at Equality Park in Wilton Manors, Fla. on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

With more than 18,000 estimated cases of the virus worldwide, Spain has become one of the worst affected countries outside of Africa, with a total of 4,298 estimated infections. Just last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) called on gay and bisexual men to limit their number of sexual partners for the time being.

“For men who have sex with men, this includes for the time being, reducing your number of sexual partners, reconsidering whether you can have sex with new partners, and exchanging contact information with any new partner to enable follow-up if needed,” the WHO director said. General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Tedros has also tapped into Big Tech platforms to regulate the stigma that can be associated with stopping the virus.

“Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus and can fuel the epidemic. As we have seen with misinformation about Covid-19, and that information can spread quickly online,” he said.

Nahum Cabrera, who leads an umbrella group of more than 50 LGBTQ organizations across Spain, said the government must immediately vaccinate those most at risk, including those who have “regular sex with multiple partners, as well as those who frequent swingers”. clubs, LGTBI saunas, etc.

“It risks creating a false sense of security among the general population, and they relax into thinking that they are safe and that this only happens to men who have sex with men,” said he declared.

“We are facing a health emergency… which affects the LGBTI community, so people think that it is insignificant, that it does not matter,” said Ivan Zaro, of the NGO Imagina MAS (Imagine More ). “This is exactly what happened 40 years ago with HIV.”

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