Update: Following a series of consultations with global experts, WHO will begin using a new preferred term “mpox” as a synonym for monkeypox. Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out. - 28/11/2022

How easy is it to catch and pass on mpox (monkeypox)? 

Mpox (monkeypox) doesn’t spread easily between people, but there are routes of transmission: 

  • Touching mpox blisters and scabs on skin 
  • Coughing or sneezing if someone has a mpox rash
  • Via clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with a mpox rash 

While mpox (monkeypox) is not technically classed as an STI, the cases that are being seen among men who have sex with men (MSM) are passed on through close contact during sexual activity.  

We are still learning details about transmissions routes through sexual contact but it's thought that it can be passed on through: 

  • Sexual contact via face, lips, hands or fingers 
  • Any other skin-to-skin contact 
  • Fluids exchanged during kissing and oral sex 
  • If a lesion is inside the body and possibly unnoticed, then it can be passed on through fucking. 

How can I reduce my chances of getting mpox (monkeypox)? 

There are a few ways you can reduce your risk: 

  • Look out for any of the above symptoms in your sexual partners 
  • Reduce or avoid close contact with people who are unwell or have symptoms of mpox 
  • Don’t share bedding or towels with people who are unwell and may have mpox 
  • Try and get the mpox vaccine as soon as possible
  • Wash or sanitise your hands if you touch a mpox lesion or secretion. 

READ MORE ABOUT: the mpox (monkeypox) vaccine

READ MORE ABOUT: mpox (monkeypox) symptoms

READ MORE ABOUT: staying sex-positive during mpox (monkeypox)

FURTHER READING: Visit Love Tank's Queer Health hub for advice, guides, help and information about mpox