Roger-Luc Chayer

Monkeypox is a disease that currently primarily affects men who have close relationships with other men. It’s not just sexual, you can contract the virus by hanging out with close friends or sharing clothes or blankets with carriers.

Given the extent of its spread and since the global epidemic does not seem to want to calm down, there are methods and recommendations to protect yourself, some of which are quite unusual.

For example, the WHO (World Health Organization) recommended that gay and bisexual men limit their sexual contact while the vaccine takes effect in vaccinated communities. This advice, while quite naive, is rather simplistic. Obviously if you don’t hang out with anyone, you don’t risk catching anything, it’s like asking people to stop eating to avoid food poisoning. In short, there is better. In a recent article published by Vice News, there is mention of the possibility of resuming a habit that dates back to the beginning of the HIV pandemic, creating your “sex pod” or sex capsule, if you prefer.

It is a question of forming a small group of friends, of agreeing with them to limit meetings only between them, and at the slightest deviation or the slightest symptom, to withdraw from the capsule. Obviously, the members of this capsule will have to be vaccinated for more than 21 days. The concept had been very effective in dealing with HIV and the young men are very open to the idea.

“When I heard about the idea of ​​a capsule, I realized that I already had a small group of 3 friends with whom I naturally limited my relationships. The idea of ​​us agreeing and getting vaccinated pleased the others and for the past two weeks we have been having our meetings in complete safety, I admit that it does me good because before, I was rather anxious to meet, » explains Julien, 23, from Montreal.

However, there are other ways to protect yourself against monkeypox. First of all, the good old hand washing, with soap and for at least 20 seconds, 6 times a day at least, kills all the viruses present. It is also absolutely necessary to get out of the habit of rubbing your eyes or touching your mouth before washing, the virus loves these entry points into the body.

If you are close to an infected person, wear gloves and a mask if you need to wash their clothes, etc. The virus is easily transmitted this way. Also, avoid crowds such as festivals, concerts or crowded bars in areas where the virus is present. Many cases have been reported following these events without sexual contact.

If you think you have symptoms, take the time to consult your doctor, isolate yourself and do not accept any contact with anyone. The same is true if you have sexual partners, you must notify them so that they can take the necessary precautions. If you are not comfortable notifying your friends, CLSC social workers or volunteers from health organizations can contact these people without mentioning your identity.