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LGBT groups demand more action on monkeypox

PUBLISHED

Sexual health charities and LGBT groups are calling for the government to step up efforts to control the monkeypox outbreak in the UK.

In an open letter to Health Secretary Steven Barclay, they say that without a quicker and wider vaccine rollout, the virus could become "endemic".

There have been more than 2,600 cases of monkeypox in the UK so far, mostly among men who have sex with men.

The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) says it is working "rapidly" to vaccinate those at risk.

The Terrence Higgins Trust, which co-wrote the letter, says the rollout needs to be speeded up across the UK to help combat "fear and anxiety" within the LGBT community.

Trust head of policy Ceri Smith told BBC News: "We need to see far better co-ordination, increased vaccine procurement, improved delivery and a cash injection to sexual health services to treat monkeypox."

The letter reads: "Without urgent action, we risk monkeypox becoming endemic in the UK. This poses a serious risk to health and will exacerbate the health inequalities already experienced by gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men.

"Vaccinating those most at risk of monkeypox must be a priority if we are to stand a chance of preventing the virus from becoming endemic in the UK."

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Source: BBC News, 5 August 2022

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