Here is the latest information you need to know on monkeypox and HIV. This guidance will be updated regularly.
Last updated: 8 June 2022
Monkeypox is a virus that causes illness in humans and is usually found, or endemic, in central and West Africa. Since 13 May 2022, monkeypox has been found in 29 countries outside the endemic areas. Monkeypox causes fever, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes and low energy with a skin rash that usually starts one to three days after the fever. Multiple skin lesions can be found on the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, mouth or genitals. In the current outbreak, some people are experiencing anal and genital lesions.
Most people who fall ill with monkeypox have a mild illness and recover naturally. People with lowered immune systems may be at risk of more severe illness. It is important for all people living with HIV to seek medical advice if they develop symptoms or have contact with anyone with monkeypox. As with other viruses, like COVID-19, staying as healthy as possible, taking antiretroviral treatment regularly to reduce viral load and avoiding close contact with people with symptoms will help reduce the risk of falling ill. If you do not know your HIV status, take an HIV test. If you test positive, then it is important to start HIV treatment as soon as possible.