We’ve pulled together a list of 3 things we can all do to help prevent the spread of the virus.
1. Book an mpox consultation
Mpox consultations are available in Aotearoa. During this consultation, the option of receiving an mpox vaccine on the spot may be discussed.
If you're at risk of mpox (see our free risk tool if you're unsure), and haven't already had a consultation, you can contact your nearest sexual health clinic or GP. Eligible people may be offered a free mpox consultation at a clinic near them.
NB: One dose of the vaccine provides around 75% effectiveness; while two doses are recommended for a thorough and long-lasting immune response, one dose - which is all we are currently able to access in New Zealand - is still very effective. We are continuing to advocate for the availability of second doses.
2. Don’t play with others if you have symptoms
This sounds simple but remember that mpox symptoms aren’t the same for everyone, both in type and severity. When in doubt, cancel that hook-up when you have any of the following symptoms:
- New lesions, skin changes, spots, or rashes;
- Pain, discomfort, or bleeding in your butt;
- Swollen lymph nodes;
- Muscle aches;
- Chills or tiredness.
Many of these symptoms could be from things other than mpox, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
If you notice new lesions, skin changes, spots or rashes, or experience pain, discomfort, or bleeding in your butt, get tested. Make sure you call in advance rather than just showing up, so you can be assessed safely.
3. Get some contact details
Anonymous fun is hot, but it's a good idea to have a way you can get back in touch with your partners, and for them to contact you too. This is one thing our community can do to protect each other from mpox.
How you do this is totally up to you – perhaps you keep their numbers in a separate contact folder in your phone, or even just write them down somewhere. You don’t need to exchange real names if you don’t want to – as long as there is a way of contacting them, and a way for them to contact you, you’ll be sweet.
Here’s a few additional ways to stay extra safe:
- Make sure to properly clean your sex toys after using them with others;
- Wash your bedding before and after a hook-up (just think of that nice smelling linen);
- Use condoms and lube – while condoms can’t stop you from acquiring mpox, they can stop you from developing lesions in sensitive areas like your genitals or butt if you do sleep with someone who has mpox;
Together, we have all the tools at our disposal to help prevent mpox in our communities.