O'Neill Institute  |  August 12, 2022

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MPX (emPox, an alternative to the stigmatizing term “Monkeypox”) is endemic in Central and Western Africa and affects primarily heterosexuals, but has been introduced into a global network of men who have sex with men (MSM, i.e., gay and bisexual men) along with transgender women. This new strain was first diagnosed in the U.S. on May 18th and has grown into a global crisis, with the U.S. leading the world in the number of diagnosed cases. As we saw with COVID-19, it did not take long for MPX diagnoses among Black and Latino people to far exceed their share of the U.S. population. Also, as we saw with COVID-19, limited testing (especially in marginalized groups) and the lack of comprehensive demographic case data leave policymakers and communities in the dark about where and how to respond most effectively. Concerted action is needed to minimize inequities and effectively serve Black, Latino, and other MSM and transgender people of color in the MPX response.

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