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PFLAG National’s Statement on the Monkeypox Outbreak.

August 5, 2022

Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National said:

“Monkeypox, or MPX, is a public health threat that affects LGBTQ+ people and therefore all of us. PFLAG National supports the Biden Administration’s action to declare MPX a national public health emergency, and the emphasis that each one of us – within the LGBTQ+ community and beyond – must act responsibly to help keep our families and loved ones safe.

“But more action is urgently needed. PFLAG National calls on the Biden Administration to move quickly to expand testing criteria, vaccine access, treatment and data collection – especially for Black and Latino people, women, unhoused people, low-income people and seniors. We urge public health departments in all states, red, blue and purple, to quickly and inclusively address this emergency. With efficient action, public health officials can help avoid the escalation of harm to communities  by testing and distributing vaccines and fact-based public health information quickly and without prejudice.

“This public health emergency is in our power to address and overcome. Let’s take a breath, listen to the facts and follow the science.”


Here are helpful facts and information about monkeypox that you can use – and share!

Cartoons showing monkeypox symptoms of fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, rash

Basic facts about MPX (monkeypox):

  • MPX can be acquired by all people, regardless of your gender identity or sexual orientation

  • MPX is spread through direct close contact with an infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids including respiratory droplets from another person – or even being scratched or bitten by an infected animal.

  • Direct, close contact can be any body-to-body or body-to-droplet contact, including:

    • Being in a crowded public space such as a concert, bar or club;

    • Sports practice or games;

    • Dancing;

    • Playing games with infected friends at school; 

    • All forms of intimate contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex. 

  • It’s possible to transmit monkeypox on surfaces (like if you share a towel with someone with a rash or try on clothes at a boutique), but it’s less likely. 

  • There isn’t much risk of getting monkeypox from sharing things like toilet seats, pools and gym equipment, but you should use caution and avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with a rash or MPX has used.

MPX symptoms include

    • Fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, chills, and swollen lymph nodes. 

    • Usually within 1-3 days an individual with monkeypox develops a rash and then lesions, which progress through a number of phases before bursting as pustules, scabbing, and falling off.

    • The illness usually lasts 2-4 weeks. 

Here is how to help prevent the spread:

    • Reducing the number of people you have skin-to-skin contact with will reduce your chance of exposure. 

    • Protect yourself by avoiding close, skin-to-skin contact like kissing or dancing with people who have a rash.

    • If you are feeling sick, stay home.

    • Wear long sleeves and pants to cover your skin and prevent exposure to monkeypox.

    • Wash your hands thoroughly and often. 

    • If eligible, get vaccinated!




PFLAG is an organization of LGBTQ+ people, parents, families, and allies who work together to create an equitable and inclusive world. We are hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of chapters from coast to coast who are leading with love to support families, educate allies, and advocate for just, equitable, and inclusive legislation and policies. Since our founding in 1973, PFLAG works every day to ensure LGBTQ+ people everywhere are safe, celebrated, empowered and loved. Learn more, find support, donate, and take action at PFLAG.org.

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