UPDATED as of October 13, 2022
MPV (Monkeypox) Name Change Update:
Following updated guidelines from the NYC Health Department & the World Health Organization, The Door will now refer to monkeypox as MPV. The name update addresses the inaccuracy and stigmatizing label of the previous name and how stigma can drive people away from care, even when the illness itself is treatable.
MPV Symptoms & Transmission
How To Protect Yourself and Others from MPV (PDF) from NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH)
What You Need to Know about MPV If You Are a Teen or Young Adult (PDF) from Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
New York City cases of orthopoxvirus (AKA MPV), a contagious disease acquired through close physical contact, are increasing, and it’s likely that many more cases have not been diagnosed. Most of the diagnosed individuals have had mild illness, have not been hospitalized, and have recovered on their own.
MPV symptoms, which appear mostly within 14 days of exposure, include rash or sores and flu-like symptoms. Even with mild illness, the rash and sores from monkeypox can be itchy and painful.
Anyone can get and spread monkeypox via close contact, such as:
- contact with rash, sores, scabs, or body fluids of someone with the virus
- contact with clothing, bedding, or items used by them
- prolonged face-to-face contact
- oral, anal, and vaginal sex and other intimate contact
Current cases are spreading primarily among social networks of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, as well as transgender people, gender-nonconforming people, and nonbinary people, so these communities are currently at high risk of exposure.
You can decrease risk of MPV infection in the following ways:
- Reduce your number of sexual partners.
- Talk to your sexual partner(s) about any recent illness, and be aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on you or your partner’s body, including on the genitals and anus.
- Avoid intimate physical contact, including kissing, cuddling, and sex with someone with an unexplained rash or sore.
- Seek medical advice if you’ve had contact with someone who has tested positive or, if you have developed a new or unexplained rash or sore.
- If you choose to have sex or other intimate contact while sick, cover all rashes and sores with clothing or sealed bandages. This may reduce spread from contact with the rash or sores, but other methods of transmission may still be possible.
- Because it may be possible the virus can be transmitted through semen, use latex condoms during sex.
- Do not share towels, clothing, fetish gear, sex toys, or toothbrushes.
- Wash your hands, fetish gear, and bedding. Sex toys should be washed after each use or sex act.
- Isolate yourself if you believe you have been exposed or infected or if you are displaying symptoms.
- Get vaccinated if you are eligible (see vaccine information below).
Most MPV cases will resolve on their own. For people with severe symptoms, or people who are more likely to get severely ill (i.e., patients with weakened immune systems), antiviral medications such as tecovirimat (TPOXX) may be recommended.
If you are experiencing MPV symptoms, contact your health provider.
PLEASE NOTE: The links below under “MPV Vaccine Information” and “Information from Public Health Agencies” are outside resources on MPV for the community and are not programs or services provided by The Door.
More Precautions If You Have MPV
Take these precautions until all MPV sores have healed and a new layer of skin has formed (usually two to four weeks after sores first appeared):
- Do not have sex or other intimate physical contact with others.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after direct contact with the rash or sores.
- Avoid contact with pets. Do not let them have direct contact with your sores, garbage, clothes, bedding, or other materials you have touched.
If you do not have a fever, chills or respiratory symptoms, you can be around others at home or outside. However, everyone with monkeypox should take these precautions when around others:
- Wear a well-fitting face mask.
- Completely cover your rash and sores with clothing (including gloves if you have sores on your hands). Cover areas that cannot be covered by clothing with bandages.
- Sit at least 6 feet away from others when eating or drinking, .
- Avoid physical contact with others and crowded spaces.
- If you must use public transportation, avoid physical contact with others as much as possible.
- After you use a public or shared bathroom, wipe the toilet seat with a disinfectant wipe.
- Do not share or let others touch your clothing, towels, bed, or bedding.
- Do not share dishes, food, drinks or utensils.
Even after you are better, use a latex condom during sex for the next eight weeks. This will help protect your partners in case the virus can be transmitted by semen (experts are still studying whether that is possible).
If you have MPV symptoms, you may be required to stay out of work until your sores have healed. Talk to your employer.
MPV Vaccine Information
At present, New York City is prioritizing first doses of MPV vaccine to get more people protected and help stop the spread while vaccine supply remains low. One dose still offers some protection. If you have received the first dose, you will be contacted about scheduling the second dose in the coming weeks. It is recommended to get your second dose at least 28 days after your first dose.
Criteria for MPV vaccine eligibility are evolving, so check the NYC DOH eligibility requirements for the most up-to-date information. Currently, people who meet all of the following conditions are eligible to be vaccinated:
People who are 18 or older, had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days, and anyone of any sexual orientation or gender identity who is at risk for MPV can get vaccinated.
- sex workers and anyone engaging in survival sex or any other types of transactional sex (including sex in exchange for money, food, shelter or other goods) of any sexual orientation or gender identity should get vaccinated
People who have been informed by the Health Department that they are a close contact of someone with MPV should also get vaccinated.
In NYC, vaccine appointments can be made online at https://vax4nyc.nyc.gov/patient/s/monkeypox. Appointments can also be booked by calling 877-VAX-4NYC. To sign up for text alerts, text “MONKEYPOX” to 692-692. To get text alerts in Spanish, text “MONKEYPOXSP” to 692-692.
If you are a patient at The Door’s Adolescent Health Center, please note: We are now coordinating MPV vaccine navigation, so if you are eligible, please call 212-453-0222 or text 833-569-0033 for info. If you’re not a current patient, but are a young person in need of health care: The Door offers free, comprehensive, confidential, youth-friendly services for NYC young people ages 12 to 24, and you can call or text the same numbers above for info on joining our community.
Information from Government & Public Health Agencies
- NYC DOHMH: Monkeypox (Orthopoxvirus)
- NYC DOHMH: How to Safely Wash Your Laundry If You Have Monkeypox
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Social Gatherings, Safer Sex, and Monkeypox
- CDC: Monkeypox and Safer Sex
- CDC: Monkeypox FAQ
- CDC: 2022 Monkeypox and Orthopoxvirus Outbreak Global Map
- The White House: FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration’s Monkeypox Outbreak Response
- New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH): Health Department Launches Monkeypox Vaccine Clinic for People Who May Have Been Exposed to Monkeypox