PRIDE x r/LGBT Reddit Talk: Monkeypox w/ Brian "PozRN" Thomas
PRIDE
PRIDE

Episode 147 · 3 weeks ago

PRIDE x r/LGBT Reddit Talk: Monkeypox w/ Brian "PozRN" Thomas

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

REDDIT TALK BONUS EPISODE: Please enjoy this recording from our most recent chat with Levi, traveling nurse and activist Brian "PozRN" Thomas, and Reddit's r/lgbt community asnwering all your monkeypox-related questions as a follow up to Episode 5: Monkeypox. We invite you to join live future talks by following the subreddit r/lgbt, and we will continue to share recordings of talks as they become available. We're so excited to have partnered with r/lgbt for live weekly Reddit Talks recapping our episodes and providing a platform for listeners and Redditors alike to ask questions and engage with other LGBTQ+ people.

For more information on the 2022 monkeypox outbreak in the US, please visit: cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox

Your host is Levi Chambers, founder of Rainbo Media Co. You can follow Levi @levichambers across socials.

Follow the show and keep up with the conversation @PRIDE across socials.

Want more great shows from Straw Hut Media? Check out or website at strawhutmedia.com.

Have an interesting LGBTQ+ story to share? We might feature U! Email us at lgbtq@strawhutmedia.com.

PRIDE is produced by Levi Chambers, Frank Driscoll, Maggie Boles, Ryan Tillotson, and Brandon Marlo. Edited by Frank Driscoll and Daniel Ferrera.

*This podcast is not affiliated with Pride Media.

Remember Brian Thomas. He's the traveling nurse who joined us a few weeks ago to talk about his experience with monkeypox. Last week Brian joined the pride team for another in depth reddit talk with our slash lgbt about monkey pox testing, treatment and what's next for the outbreak. If you miss the live conversation, don't worry. We're releasing it this week so you can catch up on the monkey pox outbreak. Remember to tune in next week for a new episode of pride and please, if you have a moment, leave us a rating and a review. It helps so much. Thanks for listening and enjoy our reddit talk with a self proclaimed monkey pox poster boy, Brian Thomas. Brian was on the podcast. Was it two weeks ago now? Something like that? and Um, he is a traveling nurse, he's an hip activist and he kind of became like a monkey pox activist. I suppose that that's like a thing, a monkey pocks activist. But are you talking about me? I am thank God you're here because you know everything that I need to be able to say, but I am not articulating. Well, you're well now, so I was just saying you're joined the podcast to share your experience with monkey pots, which maybe we should kind of take that from the beginning. I'm going to hand it to you, but I definitely think the our special lgbt listeners who are on with us right now would probably be like a little bit of a refresher on monkey pocks and also who you are and kind of your tiktok stardom. Yeah, yeah, sure. Hi, Um, my name is Brian Thomas or on Tiktok. I go by P O Z RN or pose rn. I created my social media platform a few years ago when I wanted to do advocacy work for people living with HIV that work in healthcare, and I really uh intended it for it to be like a educational platform where people could ask questions and I could be stigmatized, you know, just living with HIV, because when I was in school they are very much still teaching to you know, like HIV AIDS in the nineties and I'm like no, like we live amazing, happy, wonderful lives and so yeah, so I have been building that following for a few years now and, Um, it really kind of turned into this kind of sexual health advocacy and kink positive and sex positive kind of platform. And then I got monkey POPs and I realized that I could really use this. Following that, I already had to make a big difference in, Um, you know, educating our community about this, this new outbreak of this of this illness, right that nobody really knew about. I was the third person in Maryland to be diagnosed with it. And even my like and I go to like an infectious disease clinic, right, like these are like doctors that should know, you know, all there is to know about infectious disease, including smallpots and monkey pots, and even they were like, Um, isolate for a week and or two weeks and, Um, we'll talk to you later, like they had no idea what to do, Um, and also like no one was talking about it, there was no information about it back then, uh, you know, and this is like six, seven weeks ago, Um, maybe eight weeks ago, was it? Anyway? Uh. Yeah, so I took to the Internet, like US millennials and Gen z ears do, and uh, and it kind of like blew up, and I'm really grateful that it did, because it's actually opened, Um, some doors from averageacy work that I have been kind of trying to open for a long time and that's really exciting and I feel like I really made a difference. Um, so I shared my whole monkey pocks experience. You're welcome to go check that out. Uh, it's on Tiktok. I have a whole playlist that you can watch all of the videos I've made related to monkey cocks. But, you know, I make lots and lots of other content. Um, it's personal blog. Follow me on my travel, nurse adventures and stuff like that. I'm a fairly new motorcyclist, so you can watch me ride my motorcycle around and wear lots of leather because that's hot and Um, and yeah, so I guess I should talk about my monkey pucks experience. So I remember hearing about monkey pox on, you know, national media, just, you know, like a small story about monkey pocks, and I remember thinking like, Oh, it's just another sensationalist story, it's just another thing that's going to kind of get blown out of proportion. It's not going to be a problem here in the states and it's definitely not gonna Happen to me. Um, like no way. And so I was wrong. Um, it's always like Oh, it's not going to happen to me. And right, right, exact exactly. and Um, I even made a video about this. I think we're in kind of like crisis exhaustion mode, you know, like ever since covid.

You know, it really you know, took things to the extreme with covid and then we've had killer bees after that and we've had flooding and we've had the earthquakes and you know, like everything now is like, oh, it's just another thing, it's another like chapter at the end of the world, and I think we're just really exhausted and I know that I was, and so I took June off. I'm a travel nurse, so I can usually take off like a month in between Um contracts, and so I said, I'm going to have the best gay pride month ever. I'm gonna go all the gay pride, I'm gonna have all the sex, I'm gonna, you know, have all the fun. And I did. I had a great time. I went to several gay prides on the East Coast and, Um, the last one that I went to is I took a week trip to Fort Lauderdale and had blast, had such a great time. You know, I uh, frequent bathhouses and sleazy bars and, you know, had really just a great time with my boy UH. We got home, one of my boyfriends got covid as soon as he got home, so that was you know, we're already dealing with that. And then about a week after I got home, I came down with flew like symptoms and, you know, I had this pounding headache and a fever and chills and just extreme fatigue and we were trying to keep our distance from our boyfriend who had covid. But I was like, you gave me Covid, I can't believe this, and I took covid testing. It was negative, and that's when I was kind of suspicious. And then I noticed these two bumps that were kind of like ingrown hairs on my buttocks, like and I was like that's weird and these are kind of Itchy, and then the next day I noticed a few more. And at that time there is an amazing creator on Tiktok. His name is that gay doctor. H is a really amazing uh and he had had money epox and he posted a video about it and his symptoms and his suitetions. And this is probably like three weeks before I had mine, and that is the only reason that I very quickly connected to dots and I connected. I called my provider and I said, Um, I think I had monkey pox, and they're like, oh, ha ha, that's really funny, and I was like no, really, and then they asked me to send pictures of these lesions, and so I sent them and they immediately lars like, you need to come into the clinic tomorrow to test you. Like they immediately took it seriously. So I went in, I got tested and this is when I made my first tiktok video about about monkey pox, because I usually take my followers to Um. I usually take my followers to my std screenings right like I am. There's several videos of me going to get tested for, you know, like Pant Pan, tested for S T I S. I have a video of me like getting treated for syphilis Um to try and de stigmatize those things, you know, so people feel comfortable like talking to their warners and going and getting tested and things like that. It shouldn't be something that you hide, it shouldn't be something that you're a shamed of, and so I thought the same thing about monkey pops. Little did I know that it was going to blow up, Um, and, you know, and I'm really glad that it did, because it really pushed, you know, this information to the population that needed to get it right. Like a lot of my followers are queer, L G B T Q, I a plus Um, and it really like that public health information started getting to this population, Um, which needed to you know, and that's the thing. I think a lot of generations, a lot of these are generation like millennials, Gen x like and, you know, Gen Z and Gen Y. I think we all are consuming public health information in a different way. We don't watch network news. You know, a lot of us, you know, we don't. We consume media through our phones, through our computers, through social networks and things like that. and Um, it's really important that we take public health information and we meet the consumers that need it where it is. So, yeah, so I started documenting my venture with Monkey poks and I'm a nurse, I do public health content, and so it just came very naturally that I did a lot of education about monkey pox, Um, and so, you know, for people who need a general overview what monkey pocks is, uh, monkey poks is a member of the orthopox family, which also has smallpox in a chicken pox is in a colpox. There's some other other viruses in the orthopox family, but monkey pocks was first discovered in the nineties, sixties, uh, and it was isolated in a group of monkeys as to be transported from Singapore to Denmark, and the first human case was in the seventies in a area in Africa. It is endemic to Africa and we have not seen an outbreak of this nature. Uh, this kind of Um, rapid community spread. It in its history right,...

...and a lot of health professionals are kind of chalking up to that. You know, this virus just found its perfect community to spread right Um, and especially during the month of June when we are just, you know, going to events and being close and hugging and loving and sexing and having a good time, and it just really like was the perfect storm. So the virus causes some full body symptoms and then this like notable rash. Uh. It's mortality is very, very low, as we know. So far there's been, you know, a handful of mortalities nations or worldwide so far in this outbreak. Uh. So It presents and I'm going to list these symptoms in in an order, but you could have all of these symptoms, you could have none of these symptoms, you could have them in this order, you could have them all out of order. It's just it could be any of these right. So Um people experience headaches, chills, fever, fatigued uh, swollen lymph nodes, which is what sets it apart from smallpoxes that smallpox did not cause swollen lymph nodes, but monkey pox does, and Um and also this very distinguishable rash or pox. These pots go through stages of development. For the most part, they, you know, start as a for me it looked and felt like a bug bite, like a bad bug bite, and an Itch, and then it kind of starts to develop into a postable where it fills with fluid. That postable will open or it may scap over, and then that scab heels falls off and there should be healthy skin growing under that and that, after all of those heel that's when you're considered, UH, non infectious. This outbreak specifically has shown a preference for new coastal areas. So we are finding the most common areas that these legions are starting are in the genital area or the mouth. You know that there's still not a lot of pure viewed research for this because it's, you know, weren't living in real time, but they are finding that a lot of times the place where the first contact was is most likely when you're where your your legions will start or possibly be the worst Um. So I experienced really horrible anal rectal lesions that caused a lot of swelling, discomfort, anal bleeding. Um. You know just it was. It was not a good time, um, but you can have them. I remember that Um. You know, uh, for people who have penises that are uncircumcised, they are finding a lot that under the foreskin and it can cause a lot of swelling and difficulty in tracking the four skin. That's Um something that is we're finding to be very common. It can they can be in the EURESCRA, which is horrifying, Um, and then also in, you know, your vagina and in the mouth. The life of this virus is usually about two to four weeks and the amount of time you isolate depends on the amount of time it takes your body to heal. And that's the general the General Concessus is it takes about two to four weeks. Some people can have a few pocks, some people can have hundreds and it really varies. I really thought I had a horrible I had a horrible Um experience. I thought I really had it pretty bad, but from my viewers and other people that are now sharing the experience, it can be much, much worse. I know a lot of people are experiencing a lot of lesions on their face. Um, I have experienced a little bit of scarring and yeah, so it's not fun, you know. And there are ways that you can uh prevent transmission and it's primarily transmitted through skin to skin, close, intimate contact. Specifically this outbreak, we are finding that basically almost all of the transmissions are happening through intimate skin the skin contact, whether that be penetrated sex or skin to skin close contact, cuddling. Um, that is how this is being spread. You know, it's we're really not finding that people are getting it on the bus or, you know, from hotel sheets or things like that. Um, it is tracking like a Um an s C. I really would that's the main mode of transmission right now. Um, so you know, you can curb your the spread and your risk of transmission. A lot of ways that you would avoid transmission of other S, S P I S. so, Um, yeah, you know, like I am a huge proponent of that's actual...

...health looks different for everyone. So if you can get vaccinated, keep an eye out for you know, like I go from each extreme right. If if you could be absent, awesome great, but most people can't. Write Um, the obviously you are less or least likely to contract this vibrus if you're not having any close intimate contact with anyone. Um, but that's not possible for most people. So I like to kind of backtrack from there. You know, Um, the other ways that you can prevent transmission from that is, you know, have one to partners or have a small pod of sexual partners that you're in very close contact with and communicate with them about who they're having sex with. Uh. That's another, you know, hard reductive way you could reduce transmission. You could, you know, do online sex video, sex video calls, things like that to keep from having close skin and skin contact. Um, and then, you know, like if you are at clubs, bath houses, things like that. Um, if you're at a club and everybody's taking their shirts off, and everybody's sweating. You know, you could keep your shirt on if you, Um, if you wanted to think things like, little things like that, just could produce your your exposure. Uh, and you've got to use all your tools in your toolbox, right. Um. But you know, I think the way that we're really going to deal with this outbreak is to get our population vaccinated and have accessibility and equitability of testing and vaccinations, Um, for everyone who is at risk. And that is and has been our biggest challenge. Um, and I could talk forever. Could we actually explore that just a smission. I actually had a question about that in terms of the last time we spoke. Actually, I cannot remember if the national response, like, if it had been declared an emergency or not yet, but I know that it was bad. So I'm curious if you could paint an idea of kind of where we were and where we are today in terms of testing and vaccine availability. Yeah, yeah, so you know where we were. It was absolutely zero infrastructure to deal with this outbreak. Right, there was little to no guidance from a federal level for any kind of local health department to deal with this. Right. So every local area's health department and Public Health representatives had to come up on the fly how to deal with this like exponentially growing epidemic or, you know, outbreak. I don't think it's it's not technically classified as an epidemic yet, but so you know, the not only was testing really not widely available. Um, I was lucky enough to go. You know, live in a city where there's a really like great hospital with really awesome infectious disease doctors and I got tested pretty quickly, but I know some cities that didn't even offer testing. I had followers that said that they needed to drive to a different state to get tested. Um, people being turned away from testing just because they were not part of an APP risk population. Uh and, and there was also no guidance from a federal level on who should be tested, who is at risk. Like it was just a scramble, right and then. Um, so there is a there is a vaccine and there is a treatment. Right. So, the vaccine that is approved by the FT as called Genios and it was approved by the FDA and two thousand nineteen for use of smallpox, but it has not been used for uh, monkey pocks before, and I think it's important for me to state that we do not have any data to support that this vaccination is effective for monkey pocks. We have all of the expectations that it will. It's in the same family, it acts the same as smallpox, that all of those things, but all of the data we have on this vaccination is for smallpox. It is not for monkey pocks or empos. So you know. That being said, uh, and then we don't have, we did not have and we still don't have, a quantity of it that is adequately serving the population that needs it. Um and the CDC and the federal government kind of dolled out portions or rations of these vaccinations to health departments in every local area and I don't know what kind of number game they used or played to determine which place got how many vaccinations, but you know, it's like some cities got thousands...

...of vaccinations bought. You know, some cities got a couple of hundred, and then it was up to those cities to figure out how to make the most use of that limited resource and get the most vaccines to the people who to make the biggest difference, right. And so every single different place did it differently and it also meant that a lot of different places gave out these vaccines inequitably and Um used screening screening questions that were extremely stigmatizing. Yeah, it's it's just been a mess and I think after we talked they named Um Dmitri and is his name? Oh Gosh, I'm gonna uh if I can't remember his name. But so they named, you know, a chief of this on a federal level, of the Task Force that's supposed to be dealing with this outbreak. And we've seen some change, but overall it's still been a crowdsourced kind of effort where people like me, Dr Carlton from Tiktok, and other, you know, public health advocates and creators have really been at the forefront of creating databases and lists where people can get vaccinated. There's still is not a federal website where you can go to nationally, type in your zip code and find a vaccination or testing site here you there still isn't. The one that you can go to is um through AIDS united and, Oh Gosh, I will have that. I'll pull it up so that I have that website that I can list. But Um, you know, that's been it's great that we have these resources from our community and we have. You know, as we have seen in the past, we really can't depend on uh, the betteral government to take care of our community like ever and Um and, and we didn't this time. We immediately sprang into action. I think. I think as a whole our community is very well aware of this Um of this outbreak, very educated now because everyone in this room that is talking about it and posting about it and learning about it coming to these, you know, platforms to learn and listen to others that that have some knowledge to share. It's it's because of everybody here that we are really making a difference, Um, but it is extremely angering and upsetting that we still don't have any kind of infrastructure on that federal level to deal with this kind of speaking about the federal response, I was curious. I know, or at least I've heard, that the recommendation if you get monkey pocks is to stay home for the duration that you have monkey pocks, and that can be, like I think you said, two to four weeks. I know there's a lot of people are not really in a position where they can just take two to four weeks off of work right. So I don't. Has there been any federal response or even like community mutual aid response for dealing with all the people who either might get fired or just, you know, really be in a bad position having to do that? Yeah, so, Um, no, there has not. Um, I know of Um. I know that San Diego currently is working on passing some legislation that is going to give financial assistance to people who have monkeypox, to Um that are going to be out of work while they're isolating. Um. And I think it goes back to it. There has been, there is no movement on that national level and that federal level for something like that for this yet. So it's still up to local areas and advocates and activists to push their local governments, Um, to try to move legislation to make financial assistance for people who have monkey packs and need to isolate to make that available. And you know, that's I just spoke on a panel discussion with AIDS united this week and there was a fantastic speaker on activism and you know, it's we need to be active in our local area, our local state or local cities, Um, if we want something like that to happen, because it's not happening on a federal level and I don't see it happening anytime soon, but you can definitely make a difference on your local level. Um, I know that Dr Carlton is also a big creator on Tiktok and instagram and he actually is. Um, he's been really fantastic during this whole outbreak and, Um, he is one of the kind of leaders of that initiative in San Diego to get that financial assistance Um, available. So yeah, there is not. There's not on a federal level, but I really, I really hope that people feel, Um, motivated and mobilized to try to figure out how they can make that happen...

...on their local level. Right. And as a quick question in general, because it's it's not most likely not going to happen on a federal level, who would you suggest people contact to start that kind of an activism movement? Um, you know, this is not my expertise. Um, it is something that I am still learning on, is really how to make my public health efforts translate into actual action for the government. You know, I'm still working working through this. I think the best thing that you could probably do is contact your like local representatives, you know, like like state senators and things like that, because that's a level that you're gonna be able to get legislation passed on. Um. So if you can contact your area representatives in your state, Um, email, phone. Uh. Just asked like what are your plans for this? And also, I think, if I mean local health ments, are completely swamped right, if you email your local health department, you're not going to hear from them for three more weeks because they're just scrambling to catch up and deal with this Um without the resources that they need. Uh. But yeah, I think the probably the best thing that you could do is contact those local local representatives see if there are any other public health activism groups. I know a lot of like HIV act activism. Um is translating and is kind of like changing gears to help deal with UH MPOX. So if there is a local HIV AIDS organization in your area, you could also start there and contact them and see if they're doing anything in their area to kind of Um work on monkey pots and see if there's any way that you can help them. Donate those organizations if they're if they're if they're helping, if you if you have that money, and if you have the time or effort to tire from them, you could do that too. I think those are probably two good ways to start. Yeah, absolutely think I just wanted to get more authority behind my my I was gonna ask so, monkey pocks. UH, in and of itself, it tends to affect gay in more than other populations at this time, which is kind of like similar thing that happened with HIV AIDS, and I was wondering if you noticed, like at least I've noticed, that it tends to have become politicized due to him and tending to be more liberal and whatnot. Do you see this becoming more, uh, politicized and affecting like vaccination rates, treatment rights, et center? You know, I think it would be unreasonable. I think that it wouldn't uh, you know, it's already in this kind of polarizing topic and it's already you know, that's so. This is actually so. I have my my kind of like mentor in HIV activism. His name is Marcus King and he he's a long term survivor. He's been he's been living with HIV for I think thirty five years and, Um, he there's this like going back and forth about, you know, at first we needed to get this message to Um, you know, the population that he was most effective, which is, you know, uh, men who have sex with men, gay, bisexual and Um, and also trans people who have sex with men. Those are the populations it's most affecting. Right so, like at first we're like yeah, target them, awesome, get the message out Um, and the media, you know, like is trying to like navigate this topic while still kind of like covering the community that it's that it's affecting, but also trying not to stigmatize them as best as they can. And now, like on a like on a national level, they've taken a completely opposite approach where, like the I think in the last two weeks, the CDC has removed almost all, all wording, all visuals regarding Um, our community, regarding Um, the gain, bisexual, MSM t s m community. So they like took all that out and put it in kind of in a like small box in the corner Um. And there's this kind of toss up. There's this argument between activists on, you know, should we continue to preach that like diseases don't discriminate and this can affect anyone, or do we need to, for activism reasons, be like no, we know who's who it's affecting. We know like that it is primarily only affecting these people and we need to help them and we need to do this, and the more that you remove them from the public eye or the more that you remove that from the UH, from the message, the more you're going to hurt the message. Yeah, so there is and I argue with my kind of like mentor all the time about this because, you know, I'm like,...

...even though HIV predominantly affects the same community, Um, and also like disproportionately affects Um communities of color. Uh, you know, we are message is still that this isn't a gay disease. It can affect everyone, you know, like Uh. And why would we not continue that with empox? Because it stigmatizes anyone that isn't Um. So, yeah, great question. I hope I kind of answered it as though. I have kind of an add on to that question. One thing that I noticed, and unfortunately not too much, but just a handful of times, I saw politicians tweeting about children who got monkey pops because obviously it's not exclusively sexually. So I'm curious if you've thought about that or have any thoughts about that. I have so many thoughts about it. Um. Yeah, so just the other day on ABC there was a story about like, watch out because your dog can get monkey pocks. Like this is getting ridiculous, Um, you know, and right. So, we have dogs can get monkey pocks and it actually was a direction from my health department that I was not allowed to have like. So, I live with my like with two other people, my boyfriends and a dog, and so I had to isolate in my bedroom and, Um, I was told that I cannot have the dog in the bedroom because the dog will rub all on all of my stuff and could care contract the virus and spread it. Um, yeah, I know it isn't that crazy, but Um, yes, so the media has kind of taken a different turn where they're trying to cover the you know, I really think it comes to their sensationalizing this illness that is affecting our community. and Um, by saying, Oh, well, twelve children have contracted the virus and two dogs. Um, you know, they also aren't listening the thousands of Gay, bisexual and Trans People that are dealing with it nationwide. So, you know, you can't win and I think that the Um, the further we get into this and the further that our community gets kind of pushed out of this message, the more we're going to Um have to deal with it on our own. You know, Um, when I already have had comments on my videos, Um, you know, like because I think a couple of weeks ago, like the first two children Um contracted it and there of course, you know, like I get a lot of comments and if my video finds its way to the wrong side of the tracks, Um, you know, people are like, well, you have to wonder why is children? Why are children getting it now if it's only gay men? Right, like insinuating exactly what the dots that you're connecting, right. And you know, the thing that I always really you know, like there's nothing that I'm going to be able to do, nothing that our community is going to be able to do to uh, you know, advocate and educate around those people. And those people are I always focus on, is this person or is this person educable? Right, like if you ask a question on my platform or you truly don't know or truly are just don't understand something that's stigmatizing or racist or transphobic or homophobic, or can I educate you? Are you educable that I can make some difference in taking my time to talk to you about that, and I know that it is my responsibility as a privileged person to do that right I have I have resources to do that. And when it comes to people like that, politicians that are saying, what is the Marjorie Green Taylor, you know, like, Oh, it's just gay sex parties and like stuff like that. Like these are people that are uneducable. These are people that, no matter what we say, no matter what we do, like, they're going to say and spout whatever they feel Um, and you know, and it's not worth my time. Um, I think trying to like control the message of the media is also impossible and Um, what I think is best is just to keep on speaking as loud as you can and hopefully you'll drown out those people that we're never going to be able to correct, quiet or educate. Thanks. Um. We also got one question from the audience a while ago that I just don't want to miss. Um. Can you get...

...monkey pox more than once? Are you good once you get it? So Um, you should be good once you get it. So the chances of you getting monkey pox a second time after you've had an active infection is extremely, extremely low. It would be very similar to someone like it tracts, just like you know smallpox and chicken pox. Once you get it the first time, it's nearly impossible to get a second time. That's not to say that you can't. People that are immuno compromised, uh, could encounter a second infection. So they're definitely cappy ups to that. Someone who's like im you know, compromise. It gets the virus the first time, may not mount an actual immune response to create memory cells to fight that virus if it comes in contact again, which is what like a healthy immunity does. So you know. But yeah, if you are generally healthy person, that's not a compromise. It doesn't have some other Comorbidities, you can pretty much guarantee you won't get it at second time. We so this is a new outbreak right. This is a new new outbreak, a new strain. There's still a lot of data to be collected, a lot of research to be done, so I can't say that for sure, but if it tracks like other monkey pox outbreaks, other monkey pock strains and other, you know, portions of the orthopopox family. You should not expect to get it again. I think you can start setting questions from the audience while while I wait for people to raise their hands. Are Any comments? Is there anything uh, people should know about in terms of the vaccine, as in, like what should they look out for and like negative reactions? Yeah, yeah, so, Um, the vaccination comes, the genus, vaccination comes into doses. It comes UH. Then those doses come four weeks apart. Uh, they have started a new initiative where the UH seen is normally given subcutaneously, which means in a layer of your fat. Right, it usually goes in the back of your arm, Um, which also makes it different from some vaccinations that you may have had before. Right, a lot of vaccinations are given instramuscular Lye. Uh. So that's like like the covid nineteen vaccination, a lot of other vaccinations. So that's why, Um, you can expect to have both from the subcutaneous and the subdermal rout uh, which is how they are giving it right now, because it's stretching the doses. And I'll touch on that in a moment um you can expect what's caught a wheal or wealth from this vaccination, and that is totally normal, and that Welt can last Um, up to a week to two weeks. Uh, it will be read, it will be tender, it may hurt a little, but that is totally normal. So don't Um be concerned that you're having like an allergic reaction or a bad reaction to it. That is exactly what is intent it to happen with a subcutaneous or subdermal vaccination. So other things that you might expect are things like, you know, flu, like symptoms, fatigue, all of those other normal things that you expect from a from a vaccine, which is your body's mounting a response, immune response, to that vaccine. So you can expect all of those things, Um. But yeah, most notably that makes this one different from something you might have had before is that. Well, so, the all of the research and the FDA appproval for this vaccination was in a subcutaneous route, which they were giving it originally like that, but because of limited resources, and this is a very source subject, because I hate that they are going to a so they made the switch to a subdermal route which requires less vaccine. Uh, so they can. They can spread out this one does vile to five doses. So they can dose more people with one vial than they could previously. But this does not we don't have any UM research evidence on how effective it will be. According to all of our kind of like medical knowledge, we know that the subdermal route is going to mount an immune response compared to compared to like across the board, other vaccinations that are given this way and subcutaneous. So we know that that your body will mount an immune response to this different kind of route. Um, but we don't have actual evidence that it is effective for this. So I it's a source of subject with me. I don't know if I agree with it completely. It's thought to be UM amount the same immune response as a subcutaneous route and we're going to be able to vaccinate more people. So from a public health standpoint, trying to make the most difference with the most limited resources rate. But yeah, so a lot of people got their...

...first subcutaneously and that are getting their second dose transdermally or subdermally and they are, like I said, four weeks apart. You have the most immune response after six weeks after your first one. Right. So, uh, you get your first vaccination, you wait four weeks, you get your second vaccination and you wait two weeks after that and then you are going to be the most immune after that six weeks. So if you get vaccinated and you want to go have a crazy, fun weekend, you should Um think about that and make sure that you're fully vaccinated. You're waiting the time period to have Um, make that vaccine at the most effective as it possibly can be, um, and if that's not possible, use all of the other things that I've listed Um to kind of produce your risk of transmission. Yeah, awesome, vaccines are important. So, yes, make sure to get vaccinated. That includes, for like nineteen Saturday, get them anti, get them anti body, Yadda, Yada, Yada, Yaddie's yeah, right, we want to be able to actually have a fun weekend, right. Um. Anyway, for the people I do invite to the stage, please keep your questions really the monkey parks story, I think, is your user name. Yeah, Collo Post. Of all, I want to say real quick thanks for having on this podcast. I have a question. This is do you know if it's is exclusive to like in the United States or not an American general or light Um. So the topic I've been talking about has been on the outbreak here in the United States, because it's what I'm most knowledgeable on. But the outbreak is very much worldwide. Uh, we're finding um most infections are in in Europe and the United States, but it is very much in Um many countries right now, worldwide. Um, I can look up some information for you actually, but yeah, I mean, you don't have to tell me what what country you're in. But yeah, it is worldwide. Like I said, it's mostly in Europe and the United States right now. Continues to grow. We have seen Um, as more public health information gets out about it, people are changing their behaviors, people are getting vaccinated, we are seeing a slow in in transmission and positive rates, which is really, really great and it means that what we're doing here, what we've been doing, is really making a difference. That's good to know. You know, going like vaccines from monkey POPs, but they make sure to get one just in case. You know, you can never know. Yeah, yeah, absolutely, and I know that. So the UM, the genus monkeypox vaccination is manufactured in the United States. And then also there are three manufacturing Um, manufacturing sites in Europe. That's where it was actually formulated in Europe, I think. Oh Gosh, I can't remember what country, but Um. So what we're going to be dealing with moving forward is that. Yeah, like, I know that the US has manufacturing plants and we're trying to make the best of our vaccinations here and Europe is trying to do the best with their vaccinations, but we're still going to have to deal with serious inequity of getting vaccinations too countries that do not have resources, Um, because I know that. I know for the fact that the vaccination is not available, um, in every country. Hopefully we make a movement on that and hopefully, uh, you can get vaccinated sometimes soon. Cool. So I was reading through some of the comments. Uh, a couple of good questions I saw was what's a good message for like social distancing or just in general being safe in terms of monkey box yeah, sure, Um. So originally at the beginning of this outbreak, right, we're like, we don't know a lot about this. We don't know exactly how transmissions are working. We knew that the outbreaks of Monkey pocks before really were isolated to families communities and was predominantly spread through, uh, like respiratory droplets. It was thought, Um, kind of like chicken pox, like a lot of families and households would get them. But this, uh, this outbreak is tracking very differently than once before. Its main mode of transmission is through intimate sexual contact, Um, and we are finding that, I can't say zero, but a very minimal amount transmissions are happening from just, you know, grazing up against someone, talking to someone. Respiratory droplets are really not the mode of transmission right now, Um, and and it hasn't been so as far as you know. You can mask in public. I think that's great. You know, there's still covid nineteen going around, Um, you know, and it gives you an extra barrier. Um. But I can tell you that you most...

...likely you're not going to contract this from respiratory droplets. If you are most at risk if you are engaging in skin to skin, intimate contact with someone, Um. So ways that you can curb that is just like preventing I mean, this isn't primarily es sexually transmitted infection, but it is primarily being spread that way right now. So you can use all of the other ways that you hope responsibly Hashtag Co responsibly to prevent and watch after other S, t. i. s that you can, you know, try to prevent monkey pocks. So, Um, talk with your partners, uh, if you're sexually active, talk with your partners about who they are having intimate contact with. Have you been vaccinated for Monkey pocks? Do you know anybody that's had it? Have you been exposed? Um, you know, open conversations like that if you're going to engage in intimate contact with someone is super important. Um, just to clarify, in this case, something like a condom, I'm assuming, wouldn't really help that much because it's mostly skin to skin contact, not like bodily fluids. Right, right, exactly. So, Um, you know, they have found uh, portions of the viral DNA in semen, but we're not finding that like transmissions are happening from the fluids. Transmissions are happening from the skin to skin contact and when you're engaging in intimate skin to skin contact those areas, you know, the virus finds its way into Mucosa. Right. So our skin is actually an amazing portion of our immune system. It's very protective, uh it when it comes to mucoastal areas, your anus, vagina, your wrethra, mouth, Um, all of those areas are very easy access for Um things like viruses, bacteria and fun guy. So when you're engaging in this intimate contact, that's really what it's doing. It is that you're engaging in the skin, the skin contact, and the viral copies are really finding the easiest mode of transmission, which is your naught events Gotcha. I mean early on people are very confused about how how it transmitted to hurt. Stories from like someone contact the contract that a plane too, you know, people being worried that it was airborne, and then it was evolving very fast, but it seems like in general it's something that that is pretty well known and how it's contracted. Yeah, yeah, I mean at first, and I think we were doing what we needed to do, which was being the most restrictive and the most protective. Right, like we don't know enough about this, so wear masks, you know, avoid public areas, avoid you know, like like stuff like that. But now, now we have much more data on how all of the transmissions are happening, we're finding that they are primarily being transmitted through intimate contact. And that's not to say that you can't get this. It is still possible for you to get this from using Um, you know, like towels and sheets from someone else who has it, you know, and close skin to skin contact. That is an intimate that the potential is still there, but we're finding that it's much lower. It's print out predominantly being spread through sex Um. But that's a message that we need to that we need to deliver together, because if we tell people like, Oh, it's only transmitted through sex Um, then say your partner has monkey pox, like and you get that message and you're going ahead and sleep in the same bed. Maybe you don't touch each other, but you sleep in the same bed, like it could still be all over the sheets. You can still get it that way. Um. So yeah, yeah, it's important that we deliver that that message cohesively, that we know that it's being spread through skin to skin intimate contact, but it is still very possible to get it through other kinds of skin, skin skin contact and contact with, you know, things that like towels and sheets of someone who has an active infection. I think I've answered the majority of questions that came up in the comments. Is there anything else you would like to leave us out on? Thank you so much for having me. Like I said, it's, you know, Um. It's a pleasure of being able to UH use my platform to educate and it's what I really find a lot of passionate. So I hope that comes across Um and uh, this has been really, really wonderful. I hope everybody learned something today. Uh. You can find me on Tiktok right. So I make lots of content. It's not all public health content. Sometimes it's just me having fun, Um, and I hope you enjoyed that stuff too. But you can find me at Pos d R N on Tiktok. I predominantly create on that platform and then I also have an Instagram, which is po z nurse Um, and you can also follow that. You can follow me here on Reddit. I have not been very active on reddit until now, but...

I think I will be now. Um. So, monkey pox vaccinations and POPs vaccinations so hot right now. Right you can go to Um, a website that has been built by building healthy online communities. It's a UH an organization and partnership with eight united they have created an mpox vaccination map where you can put in your Zip Code and find monkey POPs vaccinations and it's at m pox VACs map dot work. That's M P O x, the a x m AP DOT Org, and it is a crowdsourced website. So if you have information about vaccines in your area that you don't see on the website, it's up to us to update that and to keep it up to date, because we don't have something on that national level. So check that out, Um, and I just hope everybody hose responsibly make the best choices that are for you and remember that sexual health is your own show and it can be and look anyway you wanted to. And definitely, if you're looking for, you know, even more insight, listening to the podcast with Brian on pride and it's available everywhere. You can get your podcast, spotify, apple, wherever, and it was actually really great conversation. A little earlier in the monkey poks season, I suppose you could say, but this is the monkey that empoc season, empoc season. Thank you. Well, I was trying to get all the resources up in in the talk, somewhere in the comments and in general I was great having everyone here. Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. This has been wonderful.

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