The best way to protect yourself from monkeypox is to avoid sex and other intimate contact with multiple or anonymous partners.
If you choose to have sex or other intimate contact, the following can help reduce your risk:
-Reduce your number of partners, especially those you do not know or whose recent sexual history you do not know.
- Ask your partners if they have monkeypox symptoms or feel sick. If you or your partners are sick, especially if you or they have a new or unexpected rash or sore, do not have sex or close physical contact.
- Avoid sex parties, circuit parties and other spaces where people are having sex and other intimate contact with multiple people.
- If you choose to have sex or other intimate contact while sick, cover all rashes and sores with clothing or sealed bandages. This may reduce spread from contact with the rash or sores, but other methods of transmission may still be possible.
- Since it may be possible the virus can be transmitted through semen, use latex condoms during sex.
- Do not share towels, clothing, fetish gear, sex toys or toothbrushes.
- Wash your hands, fetish gear and bedding. Sex toys should be washed after each use or sex act.
Monkeypox (Orthopoxvirus) Update
As of July 29, 1,289 people in New York City have tested positive for orthopoxvirus/monkeypox. Cases in NYC are increasing, and there are likely many more cases that have not been diagnosed.
Anyone can get and spread monkeypox. The current cases are primarily spreading through sex and other intimate contact among social networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM); transgender people; gender-nonconforming people; and nonbinary people. People in these social circles who have multiple or anonymous sex partners are at a high risk of exposure.
If you have symptoms of monkeypox, you should see a health care provider for testing. If you do not have a provider, call 311 or search the NYC Health Map. You should only get tested for monkeypox if you are experiencing symptoms.
Testing involves a provider taking a swab of a sore. Only your provider — not the Health Department — can give you the test result. While you are waiting for your test result, which can take a few days, isolate from others.