Human Rights Campaign on End of Mpox Health Emergency Declaration: “Today We Enter a New Phase in a Continuing Fight”

by Laurel Powell

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)– the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization – marked the end of the mpox public health emergency declaration, lauding the incredible efforts by the LGBTQ+ community to remain healthy while noting that mpox continues to have disproportionately severe impacts on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and individuals living with HIV.

Today, we enter the next phase in the continuing fight to end mpox and maintain the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. Make no mistake, mpox is still with us - and much the same with other health issues, it disproportionately impacts Black and Brown LGBTQ+ community members. We will work tirelessly to make sure as many people as possible remain healthy. We urge members of the LGBTQ+ community to speak with their doctor about their options regarding vaccination, which has been proven to be safe and effective in preventing mpox. This emergency declaration has ended, in no small part because of action from community leaders and organizations in partnership with the Biden-Harris administration and other federal, state, and local agencies. But the work is just beginning.

Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign

HRC has taken an active role in the fight against mpox as a natural extension of its pre-existing work to address health inequities within the LGBTQ+ community, immediately building a resource page to help educate people about Mpox. In September, as the virus was increasing in prevalence, HRC joined with a host of other advocacy organizations to ask Congress for $4.5 billion to combat mpox, putting a stake in the ground as to the importance of fighting against the outbreak. It made a further ask for $900 million to combat the outbreak in December, calling for funding to restore the vaccine stockpile, expand cities’ testing capacity, and expand community-based organizations’ capacity to connect individuals with care. Throughout the public health emergency, HRC has partnered with community-based organizations like the Valley AIDS Council in Texas to connect LGBTQ+ people, particularly Black and Latinx gay, bisexual, and other same-gender-loving men, with clinicians and host vaccine drives, increasing vaccine equity in the communities that were impacted most.

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