Mpox is a currently spreading virus in the same family as smallpox, though which often has much milder symptoms. While not an STI, mpox is affecting the gay, trans, and non-binary community disproportionately compared to the broader community, so we are here to help.
As well as providing testing and treatment for mpox, we also offer vaccinations for mpox which can help reduce rates of transmission, and can lessen the symptoms if you do catch it.
What is mpox?
Mpox is a virus endemic to areas of Africa that is currently circulating in the general population across the world, with the highest level of cases being reported in the gay community.
While it is less severe than other related viruses such as smallpox, mpox can lead to further complications if you have underlying health issues such as HIV or heart problems. Vaccinating against mpox is the best way to protect yourself and others, and by staying aware of the latest health advice.
More about mpox
If you want to know about what mpox looks like, how it started, and how to protect yourself, we’ve got all the information you need to get up-to speed right below.
How is it spread?
Mpox is typically spread through skin-to-skin contact with someone who is infected, as the infection presents as lumps on the skin. If you think you or your partner may have mpox, it is best to avoid skin contact until you have been tested and given the all clear.
Mpox can also spread through prolonged exposure to someone who is infected, sharing bedding and clothes, or in rare cases touching something an infected person has recently touched – though this also depends on how infectious they are.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms usually start within 5 days – 3 weeks from exposure, and typically include sores, rashes, bumps and pimples being reported around the genitals, rectum, mouth, and arms and legs.
Sores can present elsewhere, including inside the rectum and inside the mouth and throat, which can cause difficulty breathing, eating and swallowing.
The sores are flat and become raised over time, where they will then fill with fluid, scab, and fall off over the course of a few weeks. They can be very painful and cause scarring.
Additional symptoms include fevers, chills, muscle aches, backaches, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, and headaches.
Treatment and prevention
Most people who are diagnosed with mpox will recover without any specific treatment. The illness is usually mild, and recovery takes a few weeks at home, however in some people the sores can be particularly painful.
Simple pain medications and keeping up with fluids can help to manage the symptoms, as can taking cool showers and maintaining good hygiene.
Antiviral medications can be used for people who are suffering extreme symptoms under the guidance of their doctor.
To prevent mpox, it is best to avoid skin-to-skin contact with people who may have been exposed, to check yourself regularly for sores, to limit the number of people you are having sex with, and to stay aware of outbreaks happening in the community.
Learn about STIs
Take pride in your sexual health by knowing your STI status. There is no shame in testing and knowing what to look for, and can even help keep you and your sexual partners healthy.
Find out more about STIs, what to look for, how they’re spread, and what the treatment is by clicking on the STI below.
You are welcome at M Clinic
M Clinic provides confidential, judgement-free services for men who have sex with men, gay, trans, gender-queer, and non-binary people of the LGBTQIA+ community.
If you are unsure if we are the right clinic for you, get in touch and we will be able to help you find the right fit for your needs.
Trans and Non-binary
We offer services for trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse persons seeking to get medical advice in a safe and accepting environment.
Men Who Have Sex With Men
If you’re a man and have sex with other men, M Clinic provides a safe space where you can get tested without judgement or questions.
Gay and Questioning
If you identify as gay, bi, or questioning and want a clinic that reflects you, you are always welcome to come to M Clinic for your next checkup.