Monkeypox patients have higher infection rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) amid the current global monkeypox outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The report means that HIV and STIs are highly prevalent for persons infected by the monkeypox virus called poxvirus, which belongs to the family Poxviridae.
The rare disease has long been thought to be transmitted through physical contact, specifically skin-to-skin and bodily fluid transmission. While first identified in 1958, monkeypox cases were only endemic in western and central Africa.
However, the current outbreak since early May led to a surge of cases in multiple locations outside Africa, with the United States and Europe being the epicenter of the infections.
In the past few months, growing evidence from health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO), suggests that many cases of monkeypox infection were caused by sexual intercourse or sexual transmission, particularly between men. With the latest CDC reports, previous claims that the disease is more of a sex-driven infection is relatively gaining ground.
By mid-September, global monkeypox cases has infected tens of thousands of people in several dozens of countries, with the US having the highest number of infections.
The North American nation also recorded its first monkeypox fatality this week, indicating the potential lethality of the virus in spite of the current distribution of monkeypox disease vaccines worldwide.
CDC Monkeypox Report
(Photo : Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)
The CDC report show that among 1,969 individuals infected with monkeypox in eight US jurisdictions, 38% of them had HIV infection and 41% had an STI in the preceding year. In addition, the US health body found that hospitalization is more common for monkeypox patients with HIV infection than those without HIV infection.
The diagnosis of the patients was from the period between May 17 and July 22 this year. The result concludes that monkeypox transmission could be linked to people with HIV infection, emphasizing on the significant of prioritizing monkeypox vaccination for individuals with HIV and STIs, News Medical reports.
Sexual Transmission Incidence
In August, emerging scientific evidence from academic papers and reports from health authorities indicate that expert may have established notions of monkeypox transmission backwards, according to NBC News.
The evidence primarily attributes that the main driver global monkeypox transmission is through sex between men, including anal and oral transmission. Yet, the experts behind the scientific data consider skin contact is a less risk factor.
The US media outlet reported that scientists told them that the CDC and other public health officials should update their “monkeypox communication strategies.” This is to reportedly emphasize the source of monkeypox transmission centering around intercourse among gay and bisexual men, which comprises of almost all US monkeypox cases.
In its 2022 Outbreak Cases and Data, the CDC says the US has recorded a total of 23,499 confirmed cases of monkeypox or orthopoxvirus, with the states of California, New York, and Florida, having the highest number infection as of 2:00 p.m. EDT (local time) on Friday, September 16.
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