Fossey shares the moment he realized monkeypox was spiraling out of control in a way that was "very reminiscent of" HIV.

Fossey shares the moment he realized monkeypox was spiraling out of control in a way that was “very reminiscent of” HIV.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci says the way monkeypox spreads in the United States is “very reminiscent” of “the early days of HIV”.
  • “It’s very upsetting to me, as I’ve been there for 41 years,” he said.
  • However, he hopes that the current outbreak of monkeypox will not end like the HIV epidemic, and that the virus will be brought under control.

Officially, more than 6,600 people across the United States have been diagnosed with monkeypox since May 18, when the first local patient in this outbreak was discovered in Massachusetts. Public health experts say the true number of monkeypox cases in the country may be much higher.

Positive tests were pouring in through the summer — first drip, then pouring, down to a deluge of new monkeypox diagnoses being registered every day.

Now, at least three states (California, Illinois and New York) have declared states of emergency for the disease, the White House has appointed a monkeypox response team, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking to boost a “limited supply” of a single vaccine. Licensed for use against monkeypox in the United States.

But before all this — in the late spring, and early summer when data began to show monkeypox being transmitted “efficiently” from person to person in the United States — Dr. Anthony Fauci felt the sinking he had before.

Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, said in an interview with the Science Vs podcast. When asked what was on his mind as the number of cases in the US outbreak continued to grow and escalate: “I said ‘Uh,'”

epi . monkeypox curve

Cumulative number of confirmed monkeypox cases in the United States, mid-May to mid-July.

Center for Disease Control



“This is very reminiscent of what we saw in the early days of HIV infection,” Fauci said, expressing concern.

Unlike earlier diagnoses of monkeypox that were recorded in the United States, this year’s cases were not limited to prairie dog owners and their close contacts with them, nor were they the result of recent travel to West Africa. Instead, the monkeypox lesions seen in this outbreak have generally spread to intimate areas of the body, among men who have sex with men.

“It was kind of a gradual ‘Oh my God,’” said Fauci, who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “From the beginning, the epidemiological conditions under which it occurred were very disturbing to me, having been there for 41 years with HIV. “

Fauci at first thought HIV was just a coincidence

Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies before a Senate Health, Education, Work, and Pensions Committee hearing on January 11, 2022, on Capitol Hill, Washington.

Dr. Anthony Fauci on January 11, 2022 in Washington.

Greg Nash / Pool via AP, File


Doctors and scientists in the United States began searching for HIV in 1981, “at a time when HIV had yet to be discovered — we didn’t call it AIDS,” Fauci told the Oral History Project in 2007. To begin with, The disease was present. It has been reported in a small number of gay men living in Los Angeles. Two of them died.

At the time, Fauci thought it might have been “just a coincidence,” he told reporters gathered at a vaccine conference in 2019.

In the early 1980s, Fauci said there was a lot of “confusion” about how the virus was transmitted, and people wondered, “Is this a strange disease for gay men?”

has not been. HIV, like other viral diseases (including monkeypox), can affect anyone who is vulnerable and at risk, under the right conditions.

“As it develops, week after week after week, you’re going to get the evolution and evolution of epidemiology — making it clear that it wasn’t just for gay men,” Fauci said.

He believes that we can – and will – control this epidemic

In contrast to the HIV crisis, Fauci hopes the current monkeypox outbreak will not end with the millions of infected people worldwide who need treatment.

He told Science Vs. “Everything is possible, but it’s unlikely. If we keep getting our feet on the pedal, vaccinate as many people as possible, and get it under control. I think we can do that.”

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