Daniel, a 27-year-old journalist from Barcelona and one of the first patients in Spain to contract monkeypox, explained to Efe that “the stigma that it is a gay disease” reminds him of “HIV/AIDS in the eighties” and warns of the danger that the rest of the population “relaxes” as if it were immune. “There are risk practices, not risk groups,” says the young man, who sees in the treatment of some media and voices of the extreme right a stigmatization of the LGTBI collective taking advantage of monkeypox. “It’s not a sexually transmitted disease, you can get it from a hug, a kiss, from sharing a towel on the beach, but it’s all part of the stigma, as happened with the 1980s discourse on HIV/AIDS. It tries to focus and blaming people for being sick. It is blaming a group that is already vulnerable for the simple fact of being different, “he says. High fevers and blisters on the ankles In his case, he explains that he went to the Pride festival in the Canary Islands and, after returning, he began to suffer from high fevers that he did not give importance to until he began to see blisters on his ankles like the ones that appeared in the TV. “I went to the hospital and as there was not much information yet, they took me to the tropical disease box and even put me in a diving suit. The truth is that I felt scared, it seemed that I had something very serious like Ebola,” he narrates. The treatment was based on reducing the fever and staying in strict isolation for 21 days, he points out. “Luckily I had a more or less mild experience, the blisters didn’t hurt; the worst thing was the swollen glands, it was the most bothersome,” recalls Daniel. He is clear that in his case the contagion was the result of a sexual practice in the Canary Islands with someone who had previously been infected in Madrid, where it is believed that it began in Spain. After confirming his monkeypox, he remembers that he had to make “the list” of close contacts to warn them. “It’s cumbersome and uncomfortable but you have to do it to cut transmissibility,” he says. Fight gay stigma Asked if he doesn’t believe that mass festivals should be restricted until vaccination is advanced, he denies that anyone should stop doing anything, especially in the community. “The problem is not the parties, what must be combated is the gay stigma. Because if it is believed that it only affects the collective, the rest of the population can relax and increase the contagion there,” he considered. “You have to be careful, take advantage of the fact that you are now vaccinated and not stop doing anything for fear of getting sick. You have to live with it. Diseases exist,” he added. That smallpox and the LGTBI community have been linked and stigmatized from the beginning is also partly to blame, in his opinion, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who a few weeks ago said that Until the disease was controlled, gay men had to limit their sexual partners. “Those words were very unfortunate and stigmatizing and do not help raise awareness in society as a whole,” Daniel said. Confirmed cases of monkeypox in Spain continue to increase and 5,162 have already been reported, which is 585 more than last week, according to data from the National Epidemiological Surveillance Network (RENAVE) as of August 9, published last Tuesday. for Health. To date, most of the cases detected in Spain and the rest of the non-endemic countries related to this outbreak are mild, with a low rate of hospital admission and case fatality.