Monkeypox on Social Media: Sorting Through the Stigma

Juan Michael Porter IICONTRIBUTING EDITORSept. 15, 2022

In an interview about associating MPV with sexual transmissions and gay men as a means of reducing stigma, Ace Robinson, M.H.L., M.P.H., the CEO of PCAF and a co-chair of Federal AIDS Policy Partnership, stated that it is important to consider data as well as context when having these conversations.

“We saw what happened when COVID-19 data were released without context,” Robinson says. “The amount of race-baiting attacks against Asian Americans went through the roof because preliminary data were associated with inflammatory language by non–public health people, like a sitting U.S. president who fanned the flames and said things like ‘Chinese flu.’”

As with the HIV epidemic and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the problems with MPV are not those who have been associated with the virus; the fault lies with stigma, delayedy treatment and testing, misinformation, and people who refuse to consider the effects of their words.