"Racist, Homophobic": UN Denounces Monkeypox Reporting, Warns Of Stigma

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The United Nations' AIDS agency on Sunday called some reporting on the monkeypox virus racist and homophobic, warning of exacerbating stigma and undermining the response to the growing outbreak.

UNAIDS said "a significant proportion" of recent monkeypox cases have been identified among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.

But transmission is most likely via close physical contact with a monkeypox sufferer and could affect anyone, it added, saying some portrayals of Africans and LGBTI people "reinforce homophobic and racist stereotypes and exacerbate stigma".

As of May 21, the World Health Organization received reports of 92 laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases and 28 suspected cases from 12 countries where the disease is not endemic, including several European nations, the United States, Australia and Canada.

"Stigma and blame undermine trust and capacity to respond effectively during outbreaks like this one," said UNAIDS deputy executive director Matthew Kavanagh.