Calls grow for monkeypox to be reclassified as an STI

    There has also been debate about what to call the virus amid concerns around stigmatisation (Picture: Getty)

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    There has actually likewise been argument about what to call the infection amidst issues around stigmatisation (Picture: Getty)

    Scientists and project groups are requiring monkeypox to be reclassified as a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

    The HELP Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has actually backed the concept, recommending that thinking about the disease as an STI would ‘more accurately reflect transmission of the new strain of the virus’.

    The infection has actually been discovered in the critical fluid of a couple of clients in Europe amidst the expanding international break out.

    But it is presently not categorized as a STI– simply a health problem that might be connected with sex, through skin-to-skin transmission.

    Now the World Health Organisation (WHO) is stated to be thinking about reclassifying it, according to The Telegraph.

    There are concerns around stigmatising homosexuality, but the AHF said it ‘believes classifying the virus as an STI more accurately reflects transmission of the new clade or strain of the virus, which is primarily affecting gay men and men who have sex with men and is urging that our collective public health response immediately adopt an approach that considers monkeypox as an STI.’

    The organisation’s President Michael Weinstein blasted world leaders’ response to the outbreak and called for a change in approach.

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    He wrote: ‘Following the initial and abysmal global, federal, state and local responses to monkeypox, we simply have NO time to waste, we must consider and respond to monkeypox as an STI or STD if we are ever going to get a handle on this virus.

    ‘Thinking of and treating monkeypox as an STD is the best way forward for our collective public health response.’

    It comes with the UK said to be on the verge of running out of vaccines and amid question marks about whether the illness should be renamed.

    Scientists have also publicly backed reclassification.

    The Telegraph reported a formal proposal to change the classification has been submitted to the WHO by Professor Rossi Hassad, a statistician and epidemiologist at New York’s Mercy College.

    He argued there is now ‘compelling evidence’ that the virus is spread through sex but conceded  there are other forms of transmission.

    Two other experts from opposite sides of the Atlantic have also backed treating monkeypox as an STI.

    Lao-Tzu Allan-Blitz – the chief resident physician of global health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital – penned a joint article with Jeffrey Klausner – a clinical professor of medicine, infectious disease, population and public health Sciences, at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California – noted that there was an ‘ongoing  about whether it constitutes a sexually transmitted infection.

    But they added: ‘The transmission dynamics of human monkeypox, at least across the United States and Europe, appears to be highly consistent with a sexually transmitted infection.

    ‘Our public health response, therefore, should incorporate sexual health into its response to the current outbreak, including frank discussion of specific sexual behaviors like condomless anal sex that increase the risk for transmission.’

    Calling for destigmatisation of the route of transmission, they continued: ‘Targeted screening among populations with high risk for other sexually transmitted infections may be important strategies for case identification.’

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