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LGBTQ community to host forum on monkeypox

Posted at 9:01 PM, Aug 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 00:01:04-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — This week, the LGBTQ community is partnering with San Diego County for an event to raise awareness about monkeypox.

Gus Hernandez with The San Diego LGBT Community Center said the virtual forum is a safe space for their community.

"This is going to be an LGBTQ-affirming space where our community can ask questions, bring their concerns, and share their ideas," Hernandez said.

As monkeypox cases in San Diego increase, so does the demand for resources.

"The center has been receiving calls daily about how to get vaccines, where to get tested," Hernandez said.

As of August 25, there are close to 250 reported or possible monkeypox cases in San Diego County.

Over 90% of those cases are within the LGBTQ community.

Hernandez said organizations like the center and San Diego Pride have constantly been pushing out information about the virus, such as how it spreads and vaccine availability.

"Actively updating our website, sharing on social media and sending weekly messages," Hernandez said.

Panelists include Dr. Ankita Kadakia with the county's Health and Human Services Agency and Dr. Carlton Thomas, an advocate for LGBTQ health.

The conversation will include the stigma surrounding monkeypox messaging, challenges in getting a vaccine, and how people can protect themselves against the virus.

"Many in the community have come to trust the center as a community messenger and so are glad to be partnering with the county of San Diego in order to share the information," Hernandez said.

The virtual forum is Wednesday night from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. For more info, click here.