Anthony Fauci Says U.S. Should Work To Remove Stigma Around Getting Monkeypox

“You fight the virus. You don’t stigmatize the people who are infected with the virus," Fauci told NPR's "All Things Considered."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, said Tuesday the administration should work to remove any homophobic stigma attached to contracting monkeypox as it tries to prevent the virus from becoming endemic.

So far, most of the monkeypox cases reported have been identified in men who have sex with men.

The U.S. needs to “get rid of anything that even smacks a little bit of stigma” regarding the virus, Fauci, who was instrumental in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, told NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

“Concentrate on what the reality is,” said Fauci, who also serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “You fight the virus. You don’t stigmatize the people who are infected with the virus. You reach out to the community. You make it very easy for them to have access to testing, to treatment, and to vaccines, as opposed to making it a situation where people are afraid to come forward for those types of things.”

Over the weekend, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern as the virus has spread in over 70 countries.

The U.S. is reportedly weighing whether to make a similar declaration, according to The Washington Post.

So far this year, the U.S. has recorded over 3,590 cases of monkeypox, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far, no deaths linked to the virus have been reported in the U.S.

Health officials announced last week that two children in the U.S. had been infected with the virus.

Fauci said while the mortality rate of monkeypox “is very low,” the virus should still be taken seriously.

“We’ve got to understand the modality of transmission, the manifestations, also the risk for people like children and pregnant women,” Fauci said.

Before You Go

Popular in the Community