Mpox Information

Updated Thursday, May 7, 2024

In response to the CDC alert about the potential for an increase in the spread of mpox (formerly known as monkeypox), Callen-Lorde is urging everyone at risk of infection to get vaccinated. There is plenty of vaccine supply.  

If you are a Callen-Lorde patient, call (212) 271-7200 to schedule an appointment. If you are in NYC but not a Callen-Lorde patient, please visit NYC Dept of Health or if you are located outside of NYC please visit NY Dept of Health for information. 

The following people are eligible to be vaccinated: 

  • People of any sexual orientation or gender identity who have or may have multiple or anonymous sex partners, or participate or may participate in group sex 
  • People of any sexual orientation or gender identity whose sex partners are eligible per the criteria above 
  • People who know or suspect they have been exposed to mpox in the last 14 days 
  • Anyone else who considers themselves to be at risk for mpox through sex or other intimate contact. 

If you live in NYC but are not a Callen-Lorde patient, contact the NYC Sexual Health Clinic Hotline at (347) 396-7959. If you are a Callen-Lorde patient and are experiencing symptoms as described below, please call (212) 271-7200 and ask to speak to Triage. Please do not come into the clinic before getting guidance by phone.


What is mpox? 

Mpox is a rare disease caused by infection with the mpox virus. Mpox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Mpox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and mpox is rarely fatal. Mpox is not related to chickenpox. 

The mpox rash or sores are often seen in the genital/groin area as well as in and around the anal area but can occur all over the body as well as on the palms of the hands and soles of feet. Some recent patients have also reported anal symptoms like bleeding, pain, and mucus. 

Although mpox can affect anyone regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation, recent clusters have disproportionately occurred in men who have sex with men. 


How is mpox transmitted? 

In the current outbreak, mpox is transmitted mainly during oral, anal and vaginal sex and other intimate contact, such as rimming, hugging, kissing, biting, cuddling and massage. After someone contracts the virus, symptoms will usually develop in 1-2 weeks, but it can take as long as 3 weeks for symptoms to appear. Someone who has the virus is most likely to spread it to others from the time a rash or other symptoms appear until the rash is fully healed and covered by new skin.

The virus can also spread through: 

  • Direct contact with a rash or sores of someone who has the virus 
  • Contact with clothing, bedding and other items used by a person with mpox
  • Prolonged face-to-face contact 

Mpox is NOT spread through:  

  • Brief conversations/interactions  
  • Brushing by someone with mpox  
  • Touching items like doorknobs or elevator buttons  

Help reduce the risk of mpox infection by:  

  • Getting two doses of the mpox vaccine.  
  • Talking to your sexual partner(s) about any recent illness, and being aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on you or your partner’s body, including on the genitals and anus   
  • Avoiding intimate physical contact, including kissing, cuddling, and sex with someone with an unexplained rash or sore   
  • Seeking 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  
  • Regularly washing hands   

If you have mpox, or have a new unexplained rash or sore, reduce the risk of transmitting it to others by:  

  • Keeping your rash covered when coming into contact with others  
  • Avoiding intimate contact   
  • If you are having intimate contact, cover your rashes and sores during contact and avoid kissing  
  • Being open and honest with your partners  

Help reduce the stigma of mpox:  

  • Anyone can get mpox, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation.  
  • Have open conversations with sexual partners about your status, and theirs. Lead with empathy! We are all going through a scary time, but we are in this together. Do not blame or shame anyone – including yourself.  
  • Don’t panic, and seek medical attention if you have a new or unexplained rash. You can get tested, and find ways to keep you, your partners, and other close contacts safe.  


How is mpox treated? 

In most cases, mpox will resolve on its own.  There are also antiviral medications such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), that may be recommended for people with severe symptoms, or people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems. 

If you have symptoms of mpox, you should talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has mpox. If you have mpox you can also enroll in a treatment study 


What is the vaccine? 

The JYNNEOS vaccine has been approved by the FDA for the prevention of mpox in people ages 18 and older. 

A full vaccination course is two doses. You should get a second dose at least 28 days after your first dose.  

You will start to build protection in the days and weeks after your first dose, but you will not have full immunity from the vaccine until two weeks after the second dose. You can get a second dose intradermally (under the skin) even if you got your first dose subcutaneously (into the fatty tissue on the back of your arm). 

If you received the first dose last year but didn’t get the second one you don’t need to start over–just go ahead and get the second dose.  

If you have had mpox, then you likely have some protection against another infection and are currently not eligible for a first or second dose of the vaccine at this time. 


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