Published: 22 December 2022

Aniruddha Hazra, MD, Joseph N Cherabie, MD, MSc


The 2022 multi-national Mpox outbreak has been characterized by unprecedented spread among men who have sex with men outside of sub-Saharan Africa. Close contact during sex and intimacy has been well established as a key pathway for human-to-human transmission in the current outbreak. Discussions on whether to assign this illness as a sexually transmitted infection (STI) have been ongoing since the initiation of the outbreak. While sexual contact certainly appears to be a primary means of spread, classifying Mpox as an STI is inaccurate based on its known transmission dynamics, yields potential unintended consequences, and ignores the historical impact of the disease in Central and West Africa. Rather than focusing our energy on disease categorization, more effort should be placed on destigmatizing this illness and empowering communities at risk to protect themselves from Mpox.