Epidemic, Pandemic, and an Outbreak
I am not sure if any of you feel this way, but I know I absolutely do. It seems like there are so many things going on in the world and just when you think things get better, something else gets thrown our way.
HIV has been and continues to be an epidemic, and we hope that ending it is within our reach. Fast forward to now, we are continuously dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and just when many mandates are lifted, we see a rise in numbers again. To top it all off we are now seeing outbreaks of Monkeypox within the community.
An ignored HIV epidemic
The HIV epidemic is something that we are constantly dealing with. In my opinion, many people stopped thinking about HIV when the pandemic of COVID-19 started.
A lot of it was individuals were not having much sexual activity, so they felt that they did not need to test for HIV. There were also people who did not stop having sex throughout the pandemic.
Many of these individuals were afraid to go into organizations or clinics to receive an HIV test because of the pandemic and the fear of being close to people or in a public setting. If people did not get tested, then that meant that they also did not know their status.
COVID-19 and mask-wearing
We have all noticed that many people are tired of mask-wearing despite the benefits it brings to controlling the spread of COVID-19.
I have seen many places remove the mask mandate and stop from social distancing. I currently work in a public health setting, and we have continued to abide by mask-wearing and social distancing, I feel that for many people this has become a community norm and a way of life.
There have been discussions within the last few weeks about a possible mask-wearing mandate occurring once again in Los Angeles, California. This mandate would once again enforce individuals to wear masks while indoors.
Even though COVID-19 is still among us we now have monkeypox to worry about.
We finally gained the confidence again to gather in large settings and we now have another outbreak that must be on our minds. The thing that does scare me is that it is affecting people within my own community.
Current Monkeypox outbreaks
The current global outbreaks have been seen among gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men. The cases of Monkeypox are rising in California and many individuals that I know personally are afraid to social gather again.
There have now been images of what Monkeypox can do to people and how painful the lesions are. This outbreak is frightening because it can occur from skin-to-skin contact and does not only have to be from sexual activity.
At the end of the day, we need to work together as a community. A community that cares about the health of themselves and others. A community that pushes to end the HIV epidemic, stop the spread of COVID-19 and eradicate the outbreak of Monkeypox.
Have you ever been unhoused or insecurely housed?