Health Minister, Dr Christoher Tufton, on Thursday, stated that Monkeypox is not a “gay disease”.
The Minister stated in a recording posted to Twitter that everyone is at risk of contracting the virus, though currently it is predominantly spreading among gay and bisexual men. He added that the reason for this has not yet been explained.
“The evidence up to this point, and I have tried to understand it myself speaking with the experts, is that Monkeypox is not a gay disease but for whatever reason the virus has gotten into the gay community and the evidence is supporting it to spread or is spreading more rapidly within that community for whatever reason,” Tufton said.
He added that despite the rapid spread of Monkeypox in the gay community, stating that Monkeypox is a gay disease is inaccurate as heterosexuals can also contract the virus through sexual intercourse or by coming in contact with someone who has contracted the disease.
“The truth is heterosexuals who come in close contact and who may expose themselves either through multiple partners or unprotected sex would also be vulnerable if they come in contact with someone with the virus, and similarly, and perhaps less risky, the general populace in terms of just their general interaction could also be affected,” Tufton explained.
Jamaica currently has four cases of Monkeypox, two of which have been classified as local transmissions as those patients have no travel history.