Monkeypox has primarily affected men who sleep with men, but it has been diagnosed in children and women, and health experts says it’s likely to move more widely into the general population. What are we to do?

LGBTQ activists and some healthcare professionals have criticized the federal response to monkeypox and are advocating for increased access to information, testing and vaccines. More than 1,800 cases had been reported in California as of Aug. 10, and the rapidly rising infection rate is alarming many medical experts.

Access to vaccine remains problematic, despite public health emergency declarations by the World Health Organization last month and since then by several cities, US states, and the federal government.

Out in the Bay got practical advice and political insights from Dr. Susan Philip, Health Officer for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and Paul Aguilar, chair of the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club’s HIV Caucus. They spoke on a recent edition of NPR station KALW’s show State of The Bay hosted by Out in the Bay founder Eric Jansen. We present a lightly edited version of that conversation.

RESOURCES: San Francisco Department of Health: Monkeypox and vaccine information. San Francisco AIDS Foundation: Monkeypox Info & Updates

The SF AIDS Foundation is asking people to text PREVENT MONKEYPOX to the number 52886 for info on how to become involved and influence officials to act.

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