Gay dating app warns users about monkeypox — Analysis

Grindr has alerted European users to the risk of monkeypox despite experts insisting it’s not an STD

Gay dating app Grindr has warned its European users about the outbreak of monkeypox – a virus similar to chickenpox – which has been spreading rapidly through the gay community following two suspected “superspreader” events at fetish festivals in Belgium and the Canary Islands earlier this month. 

First monkeypox quarantine ordered in EU

The message, published in 13 different languages on Wednesday, details some of the symptoms of monkeypox and explains that while it “Spreads easily among people,” it “It can pass on to others through personal contact.” Concerned users are advised to contact their local health authorities. 

European users were directed to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s monkeypox website, while British users were sent to the UK Health Security Agency. American users are currently receiving a similar message through the app. 

As of Wednesday’s deadline, the ECDPC had reported that there were 118 cases in Europe and 219 total cases in other countries. “It is the first report of chains of transmission in Europe, without any epidemiological connections to West or Central Africa.,” the agency said in its report, as well as the “Worldwide first reported cases [men who have sex with men].”

The agency’s report states that most diagnosed cases feature “The presence of lesions in the genitalia, or perigenital region, indicates that this transmission occurred through close contact with sexual activity.,” and the World Health Organization has acknowledged that it is primarily spreading among men who have sex with men. The WHO also stated that monkeypox was not sexually transmitted.

Nor did all Grindr users like being reminded of the latest pandemic on their hookup app of choice, with one quoted in the UK Telegraph calling it a sign of “The end of the world.” 

The apparent efforts to deemphasize the sexually-transmitted nature of the recent outbreak – whether to avoid stigmatizing gay men or whether to promote fear of the disease among the larger population – have only added to the confusion.

The virus was first reported to be in Europe. It has also been detected in Australia, Israel, and the US. In Argentina, there have been suspected cases. After the confirmation of the first case in the US, the Biden Administration purchased Jynneos vaccine for smallpox worth $119million. It was approved in 2019 against monkeypox, just three months after Covid-19 was diagnosed in China.

US purchases millions of vaccines against dangerous viruses

Although monkeypox does not have a known cure, symptoms can be mildened and the disease usually resolves in a matter of weeks. The symptoms of the disease include the flu-like signs such as fever and headaches. Swollen lymph nodes can also cause sore muscles and muscle pain. Eventually, the condition will progress to the appearance of pustules and a rash on the skin and body.

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