Cases of the viral infection MPX/“monkeypox” are rising in Berlin among men who have sex with men.
MPX is transmitted through close physical contact (e.g. sex) and generally heals by itself. However, severe cases exist.
Symptoms develop within a few days or up to 3 weeks after infection.
Early symptoms may include fever, swollen lymph nodes in the groin, headaches and joint/muscle pain.
Skin lesions typically follow: Spots appear and develop into pimples, blisters, pustules and finally scabs. They often occur in groups, but can also appear singularly. They may first appear around the genitals or anus and can also occur inside the mouth. They may be very painful.
MPX is primarily transmitted through close physical contact, such as sex, kissing and cuddling.
It is also possible to catch MPX by sharing sex toys or by coming in contact with bedding or towels used by someone who currently has MPX.
Patients are infectious until symptoms are gone, the skin has healed and all scabs have fallen off. This takes around 3 weeks.
Right now, the more sex you have with multiple changing partners, the higher your risk is to catch MPX.
Condoms cannot prevent MPX infection. They do, however, minimize the risk of painful lesions around the genitals and anus.
Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself.
→ Where can I get vaccinated?
Deutsche Aidshilfe has further information.
Do you have symptoms or suspicions? We recommend consulting an HIV/STI specialist near you. These doctors are most familiar with MPX and queer lifestyles.
If you are in a lot of pain or it’s the weekend you can also visit a hospital:
There is a vaccine against MPX. It is recommended for:
Limited amounts of the vaccine became available in Berlin in mid July 2022. Availability is expected to improve during August.
Your best bet is to ask your HIV/STI specialist who e.g. provides your PrEP.
If you do not have one, you can join the waiting list of the Berlin Mitte Public Health Department at 030 9018-41000 (Mon–Fri 09:00–15:00), who also vaccinate anonymously and independent of health insurance. Alternatively, try contacting one of the providers below.
All doctors and hospitals who administer MPX vaccination in Berlin: