Link to Monkeypox’s ‘unprotected sex’ as skin-to-skin contact spreads disease
Monkeypox could be spread during unprotected sex, it has been reported. The condition is being investigated by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) working with the NHS and public health agencies in all four countries to investigate the outbreak over the past few weeks.
Up to June 8, 2022, there were 336 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox in the UK. A high proportion of cases, according to the UKHSA, are London residents, and the majority – 99% – are male.
The epidemiological update said: “Cases of monkeypox infection have been confirmed in England from 6 May 2022. The outbreak has primarily affected people with no documented history of travel to endemic countries.
“Up to June 8, 2022, there were 336 laboratory confirmed cases in the UK. Of the confirmed cases, 11 were in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland, 3 in Wales and 320 in England.”
In more in-depth questionnaires completed by 152 people from May 26, 2022, and used retrospectively, they said: “151 of 152 men surveyed identified as gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) , or have declared the same. sexual contact, and the remaining person has refused to disclose this information.”
Monkeypox has not been identified as sexually transmitted. However, spread would occur through close skin-to-skin contact.
The report continues: “The results show that monkeypox is transmitted in geographically diffuse sexual networks. Almost all (98%) of the cases surveyed reported having had sex with other men during the incubation period (5-21 days).
“The majority (60%, 27 of 45) had been diagnosed with an STI in the past year, 44% (20 of 45) reported having had more than 10 sexual partners in the past 3 months, and 44% (20 out of 45) reported group sex during the incubation period The sexual networks implicated in this epidemic are interconnected inside and outside the UK, as 30% (13 out of 45) of cases reported sexual activity in cities other than their place of residence, 20% (9 of 45) reported sexual activity abroad, and 24% (11 of 45) reported sexual activity with males who are not UK residents during the incubation period.”
It has already been noted that a high incidence of gay and bisexual men may have contracted monkeypox, as they are historically more likely to test for STIs. The reproduction number, R, remains highly uncertain, says the UKHSA.