Cases of Monkeypox have exploded due to close contact among men who have sex with men (MSM) in gay bathhouses.
Men who have sex with men comprise the vast majority of monkeypox cases in this unprecedented outbreak, NBC News reports.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recorded 6,924 confirmed monkeypox cases in the global outbreak, the majority have occurred among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, the CDC reports.
Skin-to-skin contact during sex is likely the primary driver of the virus’s global spread thus far.
Bathhouses and gay sex clubs are breeding grounds for the virus, experts say.
NBC News spoke with 18 gay men who contracted monkeypox after having sex in sex clubs in New York and Europe.
The men described signs and symptoms including skin lesions, headaches, and debilitating pain.
“The thought of a full three-week quarantine is pretty scary,” said John, 32, from New York City. He believes he contracted monkeypox after he hooked up with a man during Los Angeles’s Pride events. “I’m just feeling disappointed and bummed out. It was a bummer to miss celebrating Pride” in New York.
“I feel like this is something that’s about to hit pretty hard,” John said. “It’s on us to look after our own.”