In May 2022 Mpox (commonly known as Monkeypox) took us all by surprise. Nearly 4000 people in the UK contracted Mpox, almost all of them gay and bisexual men and people in their sexual networks. Trans women appear to have been over-represented amongst the relatively small number of women who contracted Mpox in the UK.
Luckily, there were relatively few Mpox cases in the East Midlands. This was probably because lots of us changed our sexual behaviour last summer when cases were at their height. We know that’s not necessarily sustainable longer term. The good news is that there is a vaccine against Mpox, which offers the best long-term protection against the virus. Hundreds of men locally have already had the vaccine. Join them and help protect yourself and others. It seems that most people who have had the vaccine locally are older men, so we are encouraging people in their 20s and early 30s to come forward for the vaccine.
Luckily, there were relatively few Mpox cases in the East Midlands. This was probably because lots of us changed our sexual behavior last summer when cases were at their height. The good news is that there is a vaccine against Mpox, which offers the best long-term protection against the virus. Hundreds of men locally have already had the vaccine. Join them and help protect yourself and others. It seems that most people who have had the vaccine locally are white men, so we are encouraging South Asian people to come forward for the vaccine.
If you live, work or study in Leicester, Leicestershire, or Rutland, you can get the Mpox vaccine from the Leicester Sexual Health clinics in Leicester and Loughborough. Call them on 0300 124 0102 or book online here. You can also book vaccines for HPV, Hep A/B and book a consultation to access PrEP from the same link. Leicester Sexual Health are organizing one or two sessions each week specifically for Mpox vaccinations at both of their clinics, but they can also give the vaccine during routine consultations – so make sure you ask for it.
If you live elsewhere, you can find your nearest vaccine site here.
To be fully protected against Mpox, you need to have two doses of the vaccine, at least a month apart. At present, Leicester Sexual Health clinics are still prioritizing first doses of the vaccine, to ensure as many people as possible, who need it, have some protection. They will contact you to arrange a second dose. However, if you’ve had your first dose more than a month ago, and are in the clinic for other reasons, it is worth asking to see if you can get a second dose while you are there.
Although the UK government secured more doses of the Mpox vaccine than many other countries, doses are still relatively limited and they are being prioritized for people at heightened risk. Leicester Sexual Health tell us that they are prioritizing vaccines for:
We know it can sometimes be difficult or embarrassing to talk about the exact details of your sex life with a stranger in a sexual health clinic. Barriers to disclosing such information could be due to confidentiality concerns or conflicts with your cultural and/or religious beliefs. Being seen in a sexual health clinic could also be a concern for people who may be in relationships with a partner who isn’t aware that you're also having sex with other people outside your relationship. Even if we’re ‘out and proud’, some of us fear being judged for the kinds of sex we enjoy or the way we organize our relationships. Our health promotion team at Trade understands the many barriers someone faces when accessing sexual health services. We are happy to chat to you and help you to build up your confidence and practice what you need to say in clinic. By not disclosing a true insight to your sexual activity, you may not be given the right guidance that enables you to have the best sex with the least harm. Contact us, if that would help, or if you want to check if the Mpox vaccine is right for you.
Contact our Health Promotion team for a confidential and non-judgmental chat about your options and to work out what’s best for you.
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