Monkeypox: Time Is of the Essence
In April, a new variant of monkeypox virus infection was identified in the UK that has exploded into a global outbreak. As of July 15, 1,814 cases have been reported in the US, with 12,556 cases worldwide. In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also announced that they were working with Florida public health authorities on a large and growing outbreak of meningococcal disease. Both outbreaks are currently concentrated among gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men (MSM).
See op-ed by Dr. Susan Blumenthal, amfAR Senior Policy and Medical Advisor, and Laurence O. Gostin calling for a national monkeypox strategy ASAP.
Beyond adversely affecting the health and well-being of MSM, these crises are sentinels of a growing threat of infectious diseases, and if they are not effectively contained, they could increasingly affect broader populations, similar to HIV in the US. Many have reflected on how the course of HIV could have been curbed had we had a government that took swift, decisive, and helpful actions.
amfAR and the O’Neill Institute at Georgetown Law have issued a policy brief urging action to prevent further spread of monkeypox and other infectious diseases. The brief sets out specific policy actions to bolster the outbreak response, expand community response capacity, and identify and allocate emergency resources.