UNAIDS released a statement on Sunday (May 22) condemning the reporting on monkeypox that they say includes "portrayals of LGBTI and African people" that "reinforces homophobic and racist stereotypes and exacerbate stigma."
"Lessons from the AIDS response show that stigma and blame directed at certain groups of people can rapidly undermine outbreak response," UNAIDS said in its statement.
The UN agency added that a "significant portion" of monkeypox infections were "identified among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, with some cases identified through sexual health clinics."
The statement further asked, "media, governments, and communities to respond with a rights-based, evidence-based approach that avoids stigma."
"Stigma and blamed undermine trust and capacity to respond effectively during outbreaks like this one," UNAIDS Executive Director Matthew Kavanagh said in this week's statement.
"Experience shows that stigmatizing rhetoric can quickly disable evidence-based responses by stoking fear, driving people away from health services, impeding efforts to identify cases, and encouraging ineffective punitive measures," Kavanagh said. "We appreciate the LGBTI community for having led the way on raising awareness –– and we reiterate that this disease can effect anyone."
Monkeypox infections have been detected in several countries including the US. President Biden said "everyone" should be concerned about the recent outbreak.