Obama alumnus Andy Slavitt tweeted that sexual activity being the cause of monkeypox was a “myth.” The D.C. Health Department doesn’t seem to be interested in singling out any at-risk communities. COVID fear-spreader Eric Feigl-Ding says the fall school year will require “radically” new safety mitigations. Everyone panic!

The Washington Post reports that sex is a “major driver” of the spread of monkeypox, but notes that health officials and longtime AIDS activists say calls for abstinence don’t work.

Fenit Nirappil and Amitra Jayakumar report:

Thousands of gay men clad in leather, latex — and often much less — partied along Folsom Street here last weekend during the annual kink and fetish festival. Even after the city had just declared the monkeypox outbreak striking its gay community a health emergency — one day after the World Health Organization urged men to sleep with fewer men to reduce transmission — San Francisco public health officials made no attempt to rein in festivities or warn attendees to have less sex.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention weighs whether to recommend limiting sexual partners, health officials in San Francisco, Chicago, New York and other U.S. cities battling surges disproportionately sickening gay men are avoiding calls for sexual restraint, wary of further stigmatizing same-sex intimacy.

Public health authorities typically emphasize safer sex over abstinence to prevent the spread of diseases through intimate contact. But monkeypox is presenting new challenges in calibrating the right message to stop the rare virus from becoming endemic while limiting government intrusion into the bedroom.

Limiting government intrusion? Like shutting down your business and mandating masks”

Calls for abstinence won’t work, in short, because if people want to have sex, they’re going to have sex.

We noticed in the tweet they were careful to say “sex” and not “gay sex.” We don’t want another AIDS panic on our hands.

Related: