Darrell Tan (St. Michael's Hospital)
When news reports first emerged in May 2022 of a little-known viral infection called “monkeypox” affecting gay men in Western Europe, most of us – health-care workers included–started googling the term and learning just how much we didn’t know about this previously neglected disease. Within days, cases were detected in Montreal and Toronto, just weeks before Pride season. The stakes seemed high, health officials scrambled to develop protocols for diagnosis and management, and a climate of fear surrounded much of the response. Apprehensions were also high about the risk of stigmatizing queer communities – with mainstream media adopting a befuddled mix of nervous mentions and “don’t say gay” approaches. How did we respond to the challenges of this new epidemic and so much uncertainty? In this presentation we will explore how leaning into the science with community-engaged approaches is leading the way on MPX.