South Africa recorded its first Monkey Pox case through laboratory testing at the NICD on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. The case involves a 30-year-old male residing in the Gauteng province. He reports no recent travel history. Contact tracing has commenced, identifying any additional linked cases of monkeypox in South Africa.
With the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) identifying 1500 cases so far mostly involving individuals that self-identify as men having sex with men. Following these remarks made by the NICD the LGBT community has shared concerns that the disease is being used to stigmatise gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.
Facebook user Itumeleng Kwena wrote : “Covid-19 was firstly discovered amongst WHITE and Chinese people, even our very own patient Zero was non-Black, but the disease was NOT associated to this particular group to prevent stigmatization.
BUT NO! Throw Monkey pox to the gays, let’s repeat the HIV(AIDS) debacle all over again. Why would you wanna put a group that is already in danger under more scrutiny and threat?I hope rights groups do something about this.”
Meanwhile Keamogetswe wrote : “The same misconception was started with HIV and Gays, now the same thing is happening with Monkey Pox. The level of homophobic attacks we’ll get cause of monkey pox i’m honestly scared for my life and everyones life in the Rainbow Fam.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement at the time and said: “It is important to note that the risk of monkeypox is not limited to men who have sex with men. Anyone who has close contact with someone who is infectious is at risk.”
However Monkey pox can affect anyone, symptoms of monkeypox typically include fever, intense headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash or sores.