Black LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Group Issues Statement in Support of U.S. Declaration of Monkeypox (MPV) Health Emergency
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Statement from Victoria Kirby York, deputy executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, a leading Black LGBTQ+/SGL civil rights organization, on the Biden Administration declaring a national health emergency to address the outbreak of monkeypox (MPV):
“The Biden-Harris Administration declaring a national health emergency will allow the creation of more tests and vaccines and for them to be distributed across the country.
“MPV is a virus that spreads from skin to skin contact, whether from a hug, sports, kiss, shopping at a packed grocery store, dancing at a club, intimacy, or from surfaces. It can be deadly for kids and pregnant women and has several painful and uncomfortable symptoms.
“We have a window of opportunity as a nation to accomplish what we have not with COVID 19, which is to stop it from impacting the lives of millions.
“As the public health campaign around MPV expands, we urge the following:
- Representatives from various communities, including the Black LGBTQ+/SGL community, are a part of the decision-making at all levels of the expanded public health efforts around MPV.
- All communities are engaged, and resources go where significant disparities and outbreaks exist. Inclusive campaigns ensure everyone knows how to prevent the spread and stigmatization of one community, such as gay and same-gender loving men.
- Media outlets and public health officials must show images of all skin tones and types as people are educated about identifying symptoms of the virus. Diversity in image choice will help everyone know what to look for on their skin and prevent stigmatization of the larger Black community.
- The World Health Organization should follow through on its commitment to change the name of Monkeypox to end the racial bias and anti-Black sentiments long affiliated with the virus. We support the Biden-Harris administration’s use of MPV and other acronyms to aid in destigmatizing the virus and increase awareness across all communities about the virus.
“We support the Biden-Harris administration taking the necessary steps to protect our families and communities. We urge everyone to remain vigilant, to maintain sanitary practices, and to keep safe distances from others.”
Today, NBJC released a new MPV webpage to ensure members of the Black LGBTQ+/SGL community have the information needed to join the effort to prevent the spread.