Six tips for your sex life in the era of mpox

Six tips for your sex life in the era of mpox

Although mpox (formerly Monkeypox) cases appear to be declining, the current outbreak is not over. At the end of last April, the Pan American Health Organization reported 1,062 probable cases throughout the American continent, and a cumulative 59,426 confirmed cases since the emergency began in July 2022.

The infection, which until then was endemic to a region of Africa, is easily spread by contact with the skin or lesions of a sick person. In the current outbreak, it has mainly occurred in the genital and anal areas of a group of men who have sex with other men, such as gay and bisexual men.

In particular, mpox has affected those living with HIV, although the reasons for this have not been clearly explained. In any case, caution has been recommended to all men who have sexual activity with several partners, since casual encounters or encounters with many partners have been identified as risk situations.


If you are a man and you have sex with other men, you can follow these tips provided by POZ magazine to stay safer until the mpox health emergency is declared over.

1. Suspend your visits to places of great sexual activity. Places where group sex is common, such as saunas or private parties, should be off the itinerary for now. Among the characteristics of the current mpox outbreak is the presence of very painful sores in the mouth, genitals or anus, a characteristic that was not present when the infection was endemic. It is better to stop group sex for a while if this avoids suffering intense pain that is totally unnecessary.

2. Form a sexual “bubble”. During the strictest of the COVID-19 lockdowns, some gay and bisexual men came up with a way to reduce their risk of contracting the virus. They formed “bubble-groups” with few members who met for lunch, dinner or to spend the holidays, and who only left their mask aside at those meetings. One way to reduce the risk of mpox is to form “bubbles” where members only have sexual intercourse with each other, rather than interacting with many casual partners.

3. Communicate openly with your potential sexual partners. If you’re chatting with someone with the expectation of getting to something sexual, be honest about the possibility of having been in contact with mpox. For example, if they have had recent sexual contact with other people or if they have noticed any skin lesions that could be a symptom of the virus.

4. Use a condom. You should know that many of the areas where mpox manifests and is transmitted are outside the reach of the condom. However, this does not mean that it is useless to use it. On the contrary, the condom can reduce the risk of mpox and, more importantly, it protects you against sexually transmitted infections that can be at play in any intimate activity.

5. Wear more clothes. Although this seems to be contrary to the idea we have of sex, in the context of this epidemic outbreak it is highly recommended. Mpox passes from one person to another through skin contact (no matter what part of the body it is), so a session of kissing, caressing, and other sexual stimulation while fully clothed is a great Help to avoid contagion.

6. Take care of yourself and others. If you have skin lesions or are diagnosed with mpox, avoid sexual activity for the four weeks that active infection is considered to last. Communicate with all the people with whom you have had intimate contact in the previous days, and suggest that they go to a medical consultation.

Everything indicates that the mpox outbreak is temporary, but it is nonetheless important. More than a hundred people have died from this disease and thousands more have suffered intensely from it. While you take care of your sexual health, you will also be helping to end the health emergency soon.

And remember that group sex or without a condom also exposes you to other infections. Come to AHF Latin America and the Caribbean if you want to get a free HIV test. Locate our centers in your country and make your appointment now.