The recent rise in monkeypox cases across the U.S has turned the spotlight on sexual health clinics. Apparently, these clinics have more or less been underfunded for several years and hence are unaccustomed to handling another epidemic.
So far, men who indulge in sexual relationships with other men have been more vulnerable to monkeypox. That’s why sexual health clinics have assumed massive significance in the current scenario.
“America does not have what it needs to adequately and totally fight monkeypox. We are already stretched to capacity,” says David Harvey, executive director, National Coalition of STD Directors.
To clarify, monkeypox is hardly a sexually transmitted disease. However, it has to be assumed that it spreads to close contact. Therefore, it primarily affects and spreads through men who indulge in sexual relationships with other men. That’s why sexual health clinics assume massive significance in this current scenario.
Besides, underfunding and the limitations due to pandemics and disrupted care have been the major causes of the current situation. Many patients have preferred getting treatment anonymously in public hospitals rather than going to sexual health clinics.
Currently, around 10 percent of monkey-pox-affected patients require in-hospital care. Yet, most sexual clinics are not even equipped to handle trivial activities such as contacting and treating partners of a person affected with monkey-pox.
Funding for these clinics has been reduced significantly since 2003. This year, it is worth around $152. 5 million only. This analysis is by the National Coalition of STD Directors.
Data reporting systems have also been inadequate. As a result, public health workers still had to rely on fax systems to deal with cases of monkeypox in some the states like Missouri and Florida.