Concerns regarding sexual behaviour have arisen since the World Health Organization proclaimed monkeypox a worldwide health emergency, given that the virus may be communicated by any type of intimate contact, including kissing, caressing, oral and penetrative vaginal or anal intercourse with someone who has the symptoms.
According to the WHO, rashes, bodily fluids (such as fluids, pus, or blood from skin lesions), and scabs are highly contagious. Because the virus may be communicated by saliva, ulcers, lesions, or sores can also be infectious.
Touch with objects that have come into contact with the sick individual, such as clothing, bedding, towels, or dining utensils, might potentially be a cause of infection. Given the illness’s transmission by physical touch, there were concerns about how the condition would disrupt their sexual life.
People with the condition are infectious while they are exhibiting symptoms (usually within the first two to four weeks). It is unclear if those who are asymptomatic may spread the illness.
“Monkeypox spread gets amplified during sexual contact. This contact can happen during intimate contact including. oral, anal and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) of a person with monkeypox,” ANI quoted Dr Dhiren Gupta, Intensivist and Senior Consultant at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, as saying.
Hugging, massages, and kissing, as well as extended face-to-face contact, might all lead to viral transmission, according to Dr. Gupta.
A person can potentially get the disease if he contacts textiles and things used by a monkeypox patient that have not been sterilised, such as bedding, towels, and sex toys, during sex.
Having several or anonymous sex partners may raise your risk of monkeypox exposure. According to the expert, limiting your number of sex partners may lower your risk of exposure.
Scientists are attempting to determine if the virus may be found in sperm, vaginal secretions, or other bodily fluids.
Dr Manoj Sharma, Director, Senior Consultant Internal Medicine. Fortis Hospital Vasant Kunj, said, “Monkeypox spreads through close intimate contact during intercourse. It can spread through oral, vaginal, and anal sex including touching the genitals of an infected person.
Will using protection prevent spread of Monkeypox?
“It can spread by hugging, kissing or coming in contact with bedding, clothes or objects used by an infected person so barrier methods like using a condom may not be effective” Dr Sharma added.
Dr Deepali Bhardwaj, Sr Dermatologist said, “Monkeypox can spread by sex, the touch of all sorts hence strict isolation is the key. It’s time to be cautious again and more hygienic of course. It’s the duty of us citizens to ensure that the system collapse and a similar situation doesn’t arise. Strict mask, hand hygiene, social distancing must be maintained and in early symptoms reach out to a doctor as soon as possible should be done besides enhancing immunity in general.”
Messages stigmatising specific groups of individuals have circulated in the aftermath of the epidemic, and the WHO has said unequivocally that this is unacceptable. Anyone who comes into close personal contact with someone who has Monkeypox, regardless of who they are, what they do, who they choose to have sex with, or any other circumstance, is at danger. The WHO states that stigmatising someone because of a sickness is unacceptable. Anyone who has been sick or is assisting in the care of those who are ill should be encouraged; stigma will only make matters worse and hinder attempts to stop the outbreak.
According to a WHO research, the rashes can also look like sexually transmitted illnesses including herpes and syphilis.
This might explain why several of the current outbreak’s cases have been detected among males seeking treatment at sexual health clinics. The danger of infection does not just apply to sexually active persons or guys who have sex with males. Anyone who comes into close personal touch with an infectious person is at danger.