UN Warns Stigmatizing Language Used In Monkeypox Coverage Could Jeopardize Public Health

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FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. Israeli authorities said late Saturday, May 21, 2022, they have detected the country's first case of monkeypox in a man who returned from abroad and were looking into other suspected cases. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP)
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The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is warning that stigmatizing language used in covering the monkeypox virus could jeopardize public health.

According to Al-Jazeera, UNAIDS cites some portrayals of Africans and LGBTI people that “reinforce homophobic and racist stereotypes and exacerbate stigma.”

So far, more than 100 confirmed or suspected cases of the monkeypox virus have been reported in nearly 20 countries where the virus is not endemic. Most infections have been in Europe, but confirmed and suspected cases have been reported in Australia, North America and the Middle East.

UNAIDS said “a significant proportion” of recent monkeypox cases have been identified among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. But transmission is most likely via close physical contact with a monkeypox sufferer and could affect anyone.

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