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Key Facts: Monkeypox and Sexual Health
Understand the implications of the 2022 monkeypox outbreak on STD programs, clinics, and professionals.
Key Facts About The 2022 Monkeypox Outbreak and Sexual Health
The monkeypox outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation, and researchers are still building their understanding of the virus. Existing information on the initial cases in the 2022 monkeypox outbreak show clear implications for STD programs, clinics, and professionals:
Monkeypox can be transmitted through close contact, including during sex or intimate contact. Monkeypox can spread through:
Direct contact with monkeypox rash, sores, or scabs.
Objects that have been used by someone with monkeypox, including sheets, towels, or clothing.
Through close respiratory contact or oral fluids
Contact during sex or intimate contact can spread monkeypox. Types of contact that can spread monkeypox include:
Oral, anal, and vaginal sex
Touching, hugging, massage, and mutual masturbation
Kissing or very close contact
Contact with objects used during sex, like sheets or sex toys
During the 2022 outbreak of monkeypox, some patients have presented with a rash or sores on the genital or perianal area before or without other symptoms. Patients may seek care from a sexual healthcare provider.
Monkeypox may appear similar to very common STDs like syphilis. Patients may seek care thinking their symptoms are an STD. Note that common STDs are far more common than monkeypox. Patients should receive a comprehensive STD screening in addition to any CDC-recommended monkeypox screening.
Monkeypox can spread to anyone through sexual or intimate contact, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.