MPX info for SWs | Respect QLD

Monkeypox (MPX) is a rare viral disease caused by the monkeypox virus (MPXV).

MPX causes a rash that can appear as flat red spots, little pimple-like spots, or large blisters or ulcers. These may form crusts or scabs and fall off. Other symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.

Although MPX is not an STI, it is primarily transmitted through bodily fluids and close skin-to-skin contact with someone with symptoms, including sexual activity.

MPX usually resolves itself without treatment, with symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. However, severe infection may require hospitalisation. Symptoms include severely painful lesions.

In Australia and internationally, as of September 2022, people at highest risk from MPXV are gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) who have close and intimate contact with multiple partners. However, MPX can be transmitted to any person who has close contact with an infected person and is not restricted to any particular demographics.

To date, most people with MPX in Australia have been infected while overseas. Still, some people have been infected in Australia following contact with people who have recently travelled overseas.

Information about MPX is rapidly changing as the outbreak unfolds and case numbers increase, so it is important to monitor health information.

Access sex work specific information about MPX here.

MPX (Monkeypox) the facts:

– Monkeypox is a virus that can cause a rash, and other symptoms such as fever or body aches.
– Monkeypox can spread through touching, kissing, and oral, vaginal, and anal sex.
– To protect yourself and others:
Know the symptoms and check yourself regularly
Check your clients as usual
Have open conversations with close contacts where it is safe to do so
Avoid close contact with someone who has it
Seek health advice and get tested if you have been exposed or have symptoms
Isolate if you have monkeypox, whenever possible
Get vaccinated if it is available to you

Having or being exposed to monkeypox is nothing to be ashamed of. Anyone can get monkeypox. Let’s take care of each other and get rid of monkeypox together.

Vaccination access:

Prevalence of MPX is greater in NSW and Victoria than in Queensland and there is established community transmission, as a result the supply and rollout of the initial vaccine supply in these states will be different.

Queensland Health is working to achieve distribution across Queensland. Vaccines will be available initially through Queensland Health facilities and s100 prescribing GP’s.

Additional vaccine supplies are likely to be available in Queensland in October, with further supplies available in 2023. When this happens, the vaccine rollout will be expanded and we will inform you of the clinics involved in the rollout and other arrangements including for people who are ineligible for Medicare.

While a significant portion of the recently reported MPX cases have been identified among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, MPX  is not considered a sexually transmitted infection and can affect anyone.

We urge sex workers to be vigilant in looking for symptoms.

Anyone with symptoms, particularly a rash, should call their s100 GP or local sexual health clinic to organise a telehealth consultation. You can also call 13 Health (13 43 25 84) for further information about symptoms and the vaccine rollout.

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