The Argentine LGBT+ Federation has launched an appeal to national health authorities to launch a nationwide vaccination campaign for the entire population against monkeypox.
The group also asked for healthcare practitioners to be properly trained on how to detect the malady.
The federation then requested prevention campaigns be conducted free of stigmatizing messages towards LGBT+ people. According to reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other leading scientific institutions, almost 100% of monkeypox cases had been found among men who have sex with men.
The WHO declared an international emergency due to the worldwide spread of the disease.
We ask the Minister of Health of the Nation, Carla Vizzotti, that the Ministry initiates a vaccination campaign and incorporates the smallpox vaccine in the vaccination calendar, launching -also- its production in the country, Flavia Massenzio, president of the Argentine LGBT+ Federation, said.
Monkeypox is transmitted mainly through prolonged and direct skin-to-skin contact with lesions produced by monkeypox. It can be through sexual intercourse, intimate contact such as kissing and hugging, or other physical contact, including sharing personal hygiene supplies or silverware. We encourage the Ministry to carry out preventive campaigns without discrimination, she added.
”There is a lot of information about it and there are also alarms that generate concern for us. Information has already circulated indicating that 'infections only occurred among men who have sex with men', the same thing that was intended (and at the beginning was achieved) to be introduced in the collective unconscious of the citizenship with the HIV issue, Massenzio insisted.
This was not so, and with monkeypox it is not so either: we are all exposed to contagion if we do not take the corresponding prevention measures, the LGBT leader went on.
For this reason, and with the experience that the LGBT+ community went through with the 'AIDS pandemic' during the 80s and 90s, we want to alert the Ministry of Health of the Nation about the stigma that attacked LGBT+ people in those years as 'main spreaders of infections' and that today is resumed with stigmatizing speeches from the WHO and some media, she pointed out.
All cases reported in Argentina are male, with an average age of 36 years, with cases with a maximum of 47 and a minimum of 24 years”, the Health Ministry said through a statement.