The World Health Organization (WHO) is asking men who have sex with other men to reduce their number of sexual partners in order to decrease their chances of contracting the monkeypox virus.
Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gave the advice during a press conference Wednesday in which he said that 98% of monkeypox cases have been identified in gay and bisexual men. He said the outbreak of the virus can be contained, but only if public health response improves and some people change their behavioral habits.
The #monkeypox outbreak can be stopped if countries, communities and individuals inform themselves, take the risks seriously, and take the steps needed to stop transmission and protect vulnerable groups.pic.twitter.com/7CumPFyPhc
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) July 27, 2022
“This is an outbreak that can be stopped if countries, communities and individuals inform themselves, take the risk seriously and take the steps needed to stop transmission and protect vulnerable groups,” Tedros said. “The best way to do that is to reduce risk of exposure.”
“That means making safe choices for yourself and others. For men who have sex with men, this includes, for the moment, reducing your number of sexual partners, reconsidering sex with new partners and exchanging contact details with any new partners to enable follow-up if needed.”
Tedros did clarify that while the overwhelming majority of cases have been identified in men who have sex with men, anyone can catch the virus if exposed, and it is not strictly spread via sex. (RELATED: Area Man Shocked To Have Contracted Monkeypox After 20-Man Birthday Orgy)
More than 18,000 cases of monkeypox have now been confirmed to the WHO, 70% of which are in Europe and 25% of which are in the Americas, according to Tedros. There have only been five deaths reported, all in African countries where the virus was already endemic.