PASS Issues Monkeypox Health and Safety Guidelines

PASS Issues Monkeypox Health and Safety Guidelines

LOS ANGELES — PASS has released preliminary monkeypox health and safety guidelines for adult film production and has advised all adult performers to get vaccinated.

Additionally, PASS has partnered with the Los Angeles LGBT Center to offer a vaccine clinic for sex workers on Friday, Aug. 5, in West Hollywood.

The full text of today's announcement follows:

PASS has released preliminary monkeypox health and safety guidelines for adult film production and is advising all adult performers to get vaccinated. Following a joint advocacy effort, PASS will be partnering with the Los Angeles LGBT Center to offer a sex worker-specific vaccine clinic on Friday, Aug. 5 in West Hollywood.

“While we are not aware of monkeypox incidents related to adult production, we are a community that has historically taken our health, and public health, very seriously,” said Ian O’Brien, executive director of PASS. “We have been working directly with stakeholders since we first became aware of the potential threat. The new guidance and clinic will help us prevent the spread, and we ask our entire community to join the fight.”

While much of the reporting on monkeypox has suggested sexual transmission between men who have sex with men, monkeypox is most often transmitted by direct skin contact, and through non-sexual activities such as kissing.

“This is a painful infection that is easily transmissible for those in physical contact with others,” says O’Brien. “The best thing you can do is get vaccinated, though we know vaccines are not accessible to everyone yet. In the meantime, to protect yourself and your community, be aware of any potential signs of infection in yourself or others, including unexplained muscle aches, chills, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes that can precede a rash or lesion.”

The new PASS guidelines were developed in consultation with public health and medical experts:

  • If you develop any sort of suspicious rash, lesions, or bumps, or “feel sick,” do not work. Visit your medical provider immediately.
  • Reduce physical contact between people as much as possible.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, bedding and clothing. Utilize gloves and other personal protective equipment when cleaning.
  • Get vaccinated. If you are not in Los Angeles, check with your local public health agency to see if vaccination is available in your area.

The monkeypox virus (MPXV) is an orthopox virus that causes painful lesions on the body. As of today, there have been over 17,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox globally. In addition to a rash, symptoms include fever, unexplained muscle aches, chills, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. Monkeypox is transmitted via direct contact with lesions, body fluids and large respiratory droplets from an infected person. The virus can be transmitted from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed, which may take several weeks. Monkeypox can be treated with antivirals that may help reduce symptoms. 

Testing & Prevention

There is no test available that screens for monkeypox unless a rash or lesions are present; as such, we cannot use testing as a way to prevent transmission on set. We encourage production to keep up health screening questions (per COVID), and be extra-diligent with cleaning protocols.

Vaccination

Vaccination is available for monkeypox and PASS encourages everyone who is able to get vaccinated to do so. However, the current supply is very limited, and public health departments are limiting access for folks at the highest risk, and many locations are referral-only. If you are in Los Angeles, you can sign up to request vaccination here. PASS is currently working to secure additional vaccine availability for sex workers outside of Los Angeles; if you are looking to access the vaccine, please fill out our survey to help with advocacy efforts.

Monkeypox Exposures

If you have a known exposure to monkeypox, call a doctor immediately or reach out to PASS for further guidance. If a vaccine is administered within four days of exposure, as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), it may prevent you from contracting the infection or lessen the severity if an infection does occur. 

People who have contracted monkeypox should minimize potential contact with other people until their symptoms resolve, the rash heals and a new layer of skin forms. The CDC has also provided guidance on how to disinfect your home.

PASS will continue to update the community as we receive more information.

Follow PASS online and on Twitter.

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