Stigma against gay men could worsen Congo’s biggest mpox outbreak, scientists warn

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01/01/2024

As Congo copes with its biggest outbreak of mpox, scientists warn discrimination against gay and bisexual men on the continent could make it worse. In November, the World Health Organization reported that mpox, also known as monkeypox, was being spread via sex in Congo for the first time. That is a significant departure from previous flare-ups, where the virus mainly sickened people in contact with diseased animals. Mpox has been in parts of central and West Africa for decades, but it was not until 2022 that it was documented to spread via sex; most of the thousands of people infected in around 100 countries that year were gay or bisexual men.

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