The emerging disease of monkeypox, which is mostly transmitted from gay sex, is causing new debate among global health experts: whether the disease should be labeled as the Sexual Transmitted Disease (STD) or not?
Health experts carrying contradictory opinions regarding the disease are weighing in the debate to create a new pathway that could redefine the treatment of monkeypox patients.
One senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Dr. Amesh Adalja, claimed that monkeypox is also being transmission by routes other than sexual contract, which means that the disease cannot be called an STD.
However, a Nigerian doctor who controlled the 2017 monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria asserted that the newly emerged virus now “shows all of the signs of becoming an established STD,” meaning that this disease should get an STD label.
Dr. Dimie Ogoina, who treated a monkeypox case in an 11-year-old Nigerian boy, found out that even though the virus is given the name “monkeypox,” it might not have necessarily been transmitted from monkeys.
Initially, the first documented case of monkeypox in a human being was discovered in the 1970s in Liberia, Congo, and Sierra Leone.
Before that, the virus was initially discovered in Denmark in 1958 in monkeys, after which the disease was named “monkeypox.”
Dr. Ogoina claimed that the child he treated in 2017 did not have any history of contact with animals, and still, the virus spread among the multiple members of his family.
Back in 2017, the monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria grew to 200 cases, making the disease an epidemic in Africa.
Although the disease is not reached the level of endemic in the United States as of now, Dr. Ogoinia revealed that the outbreak is showing signs that monkeypox may become an “established STD,” which means that it will be treated like other STDs, including HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
America is Reluctant to Label Monkeypox an STD
Despite these concerns of health officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hesitant to declare the virus as an STD. Almost 14,115 people have been suffering from the disease as of now in different parts of America, but the CDC noted that the virus had not reached an STD status yet.
According to the agency, “(the), the current outbreak has led to questions about whether monkeypox is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Monkeypox can more accurately be described as ‘sexually transmissible.’ In other words, sex is one of the ways that monkeypox can be spread, but not the only way.”
Whenever the health authorities declare monkeypox as an STD, it means that a variety of new health guidelines will be issued to address the disease. Included in these guidelines will be safe and protected sexual activities for individuals and continuous testing of health officials who treat this disease.