The New York City Health Department has announced that they will no longer be referring to monkeypox by its name, and will instead be calling it “MPV” — claiming that the term “monkeypox” is an “inaccurate and stigmatizing label.”
The virus hit the United States earlier this year — and has since infected nearly 30,000 Americans, killing six, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Soon after NYC announced its first two deaths linked to the virus on Friday, the city’s health department came out to explain that the disease — which largely transmits through sexual intercourse between gay men — will no longer be referred to as “monkeypox.”
“Moving forward, the Health Department will refer to the virus as MPV. The previous name is an inaccurate and stigmatizing label for a virus that is primarily affecting a community that has already suffered a long history of bigotry,” the NYC health department said.
NYC Health went on to claim that referring to the disease as monkeypox could potentially prevent people from seeking treatment if they contract the virus due to “stigma.”
The health department has even asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to change the name of the disease.
NYC Health has encouraged “anyone of any sexual orientation or gender identity who is at risk” to get both doses of the monkeypox vaccine. Officials recommend that individuals who have received one dose get their second dose 28 days after the first one. The vaccines are available at any city-run vaccination site.
Despite the fact that monkeypox is not exclusively spread through sex, the virus has infected gay men at a much higher rate that the rest of the population. According to the latest data from NYC, individuals identifying as LGBTQ make up 64% of the city’s 3,703 monkeypox cases — while men make up 94% of the cases.
The problem with the disease in the gay community has gotten so bad that even the left-wing media has been forced to cover it, as it has been reported that some outbreaks have been fueled by risky sexual behavior.
According to the CDC, symptoms of monkeypox — which can spread via skin-to-skin contact — include fever, headache, cough, sore throat and nasal congestion. The virus can also cause painful rashes and blisters.
Have a new or unexplained rash, sores, or other symptoms of #monkeypox and believe you may have been exposed to the virus? Contact a health care provider for medical attention and evaluation. https://t.co/XoR0c0xyPO pic.twitter.com/7FdSIq3loo
— CDC (@CDCgov) October 13, 2022