Monkeypox is a viral disease most commonly found in central and west Africa. In May 2022 cases were detected in Europe.
Media reporting of the outbreaks of monkeypox in Europe has focused heavily on LGBTI+ events that it was claimed had been vector events leading to a number of infections. This has given opportunities to those who oppose Pride events, and some have used monkeypox to call for Pride events to be cancelled.
We refer Pride organisers to the guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) with whom we are in contact. They have published extensive guidance on monkeypox and are not recommending that plans for major events are cancelled or curtailed – indeed the WHO have specifically said that Prides should not be affected and people should attend them as usual.
We recommend that Pride organisations share public health messaging that if people are experiencing symptoms, they should isolate. We also recommend following the guidance of your national public health body if appropriate. We are working with World Health Organisation to develop a toolkit for Pride organisers and we will publish this as soon as possible.
- Together with The Love Tank and PrEPster, we have published this guidance for event organisers. This is based on information from WHO and ECDC and the expertise of our partner organisations.
- Information sheets for men who have sex with men are now available in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Russian.
- World Health Organisation guidance on monkeypox, which includes the following statement: “We are not recommending cancellation of events or travel restrictions. As we enter the summer season of festivals, large gatherings and parties, it is what people do at these events that matters. As mentioned, monkeypox needs close physical contact between people so is not readily transmitted. We encourage safe sexual behaviour and good hygiene, like regular handwashing, to help limit transmission of the virus. Summer festivals can be good opportunities to reach out to specific population groups with public health messaging.”
- Interim advice for public health authorities on summer events during the monkeypox outbreak – European Centre for Disease Control & Prevention
- We joined a World Health Organisation press briefing (Wednesday 15 June) on monkeypox.