Here's an update on how we're addressing the MPV outbreak
September 16, 2022
MPV at NCSD
The public health community spoke with one voice this week as the need for dedicated monkeypox funding grows more urgent.
On behalf of our MPV Working Group, we delivered a letter to Congressional leadership on Monday with signatures from 28 of the nation’s leading public health, HIV, and LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations. The letter asks Congress to include the White House’s $4.5 billion emergency request in the continuing resolution.
The next day, on Tuesday, NCSD doubled down on its funding advocacy by hosting a press conference with ASTHO, NACCHO, CSTE and IDSA supporting the request for emergency MPV response funds. These funds are sorely needed as – starting this weekend – clinics and communities enter their fifth month of serving patients without any additional funds. NCSD’s David C. Harvey is quoted from the press conference in Politico as saying:, “Monkeypox is inundating these programs and it is interrupting our ability to diagnose and treat other STIs…It’s shining a bright light on the fact that safety net clinics who provide essential services are in desperate need of federal support.”
Efforts to elevate the funding need are resonating: Senators entered the MPV Working Group’s letter into the record at the Senate HELP Committee’s hearing on the MPV response, and the funding needs we named were cited by Senators during the hearing, as well as during White House briefings and widely in the media.
The needs we are referencing are not small. In conversations with STI clinics, we continue to hear how dire the situation is. Some clinics are spending upwards of $20,000 a week on the response. Some are seeing triple the patients. Some are wondering aloud about their viability. This harms all our work – not simply because we need to halt the MPV outbreak but because these are the clinics are essential to ending the epidemic of STDs in the U.S. In the coming weeks, we will be asking clinics for more formal point-in-time feedback about the toll of the response and providing a situation update on their behalf.
Our MPV Working Group met on Thursday, again hosting Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, and strategized to address each others concerns, especially regarding health equity and messaging. NCSD staff also made the rounds, sharing crucial information in presentations at AIDSWatch and FAPP.
Looking into next week: We’re cohosting a congressional briefing on Tuesday with IDSA and HIVMA, and planning a couple of longer term thrusts to elevate the stories of front-line clinics.