Call to Prioritize Monkeypox Testing in Black and Brown Communities

The Black AIDS Institute – a leading voice in educating and mobilizing communities across the country in the fight to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic – is calling for the need for testing and treatment of the Monkeypox Virus in LGBTQ+ and underserved communities of color.

The Centers for Disease Control reports nearly 3,500 cases of Monkeypox in the United States – with cases expected to surge in the coming months.  Monkeypox, which is a rare virus that has similar symptoms as Smallpox, is transmitted through direct, intimate contact with infectious sores, body fluids – including breathing, and during sexual intercourse.  While most symptoms are mild and result in a rash or fever, Monkeypox can cause death if not treated immediately.

“With the rising outbreak of Monkeypox in the United States, it is imperative that convenient access to testing and treatment is available to vulnerable populations, especially the HIV/AIDS immunocompromised and Black and Latino communities.  We cannot allow communities of color to be left behind.  Health care officials must make our health a priority, and we must as well,” said Grazell Howard, Chair of the Board of BAI.  “Preventive care and testing are vital to closing the health care disparity gaps that impact Black and Brown communities, and in LGBTQ+ communities.”

As cities are struggling with their response to the Monkeypox virus, BAI is urging health officials to make testing equity a priority, as the Black Aids Institute is prioritizing testing and vaccinations.  The Black Aids Institute is engaging in an education campaign to provide communities with more information on the Monkeypox virus and the need for testing and generally knowing your health status.

Learn more about the Black AIDS Institute at

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