On Saturday, June 29, 2019, a group of over 200 queer and trans folks were gathered in New York City, celebrating the city’s big World Pride weekend. They had all come to a party called NYC Inferno known for sexual activity. At around midnight, they were gathered in the front of the venue, rapt as an artist led them in an interactive performance. Within moments, everyone was singing the refrain: “We’ve got to keep each other alive, because no one else is gonna do it.”

With this care-based ethos in mind, NYC Inferno, and all other queer sex-based venues in NYC, quickly shut down in July 2022, when Monkeypox (MPV) cases climbed in the United States. The horror of MPV was almost unfathomable to many, including the queer community: excruciating pain, terrible sores, and a treatment that few doctors could prescribe.
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When NYC Inferno relaunched on Sept.17, 2022, attendees were able to first make a stop at a white van parked near the venue, a mobile clinic offering Jynneos—the MPV vaccine. Jynneos, safe and effective, requires two doses for full immunity.

As executive leadership at NYC Health + Hospitals, a community organizer and queer scientist, and the creator and host of NYC Inferno, we are part of a team that provided free, subcutaneous Jynneos vaccine doses on site at commercial sex venues in NYC. Over this summer, MPV vaccination was severely limited by supply as cases rapidly rose. In New York, the Health Department partnered with community organizations and set up mass vaccination sites, even as demand remained consistently higher than supply through the fall. The success in lowering the MPV epidemiological curve, and the continued low and declining case counts even as sexual behaviors are returning to normal, highlight the power of bringing sexual healthcare directly to impacted communities and the places where they congregate.

Read More: How the Monkeypox Virus Does—and Doesn’t—Spread

People who participate in group sex tend to have a high number of sexual partners. Providing preventative care to this group can help prevent infectious disease—from HIV and STIs to MPV—not only in people who attend sex parties, but all the other people in their sexual networks. By getting vaccinated to help prevent MPV, this community has shown that queer pleasure and community care can go hand-in-hand.

After initially closing on July 14, 2022, spaces where queer people meet for sex in …read more

Source:: Time – Health

      

We Need to Bring Sexual Health Care to Places Where People Have Sex

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