The United Nations Aids agency (UNAIDS) on Monday warned against homophobic and racist monkeypox coverage. They claim that irresponsible language undermines the response.
They are referring to reports indicating that the virus spread at a massive Belgium PRIDE and fetish festival. Dr. Robert Malone said that right now the virus is spreading among men having sex with men. The disease mainly originates from Central Africa. Those are the facts as we know them at this moment.
We don’t know what the coverage has been, but the facts are the facts. They could change and perhaps the festival isn’t the reason for the spread. It appears to be the truth right now.
UNAIDS said “a significant proportion” of recent monkeypox cases have been identified among “gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men” leading to some portrayals of Africans and LGBTI people gravely “reinforce homophobic and racist stereotypes and exacerbate stigma.”
The UNAIDS deputy executive director, Matthew Kavanagh, advised such coverage should cease forthwith. He said:
Stigma and blame undermine trust and capacity to respond effectively during outbreaks like this one.
Experience shows that stigmatising rhetoric can quickly disable evidence-based response by stoking cycles of fear, driving people away from health services, impeding efforts to identify cases, and encouraging ineffective, punitive measures.
The agency said the disease could affect anyone.
The coverage needs to be truthful, and people shouldn’t get racist or homophobic, but they can say what they want, and beyond that, Mr. Kavanaugh should take a hike.