As the monkeypox outbreak slows in the U.S., a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights devastating outcomes of monkeypox for people with severely weakened immune systems, particularly those with untreated HIV. The report examines 57 patients hospitalized with severe monkeypox since early August, including 12 who died. Most of the patients (82%) had HIV infection and four were receiving antiretroviral therapy before their monkeypox diagnosis.
“Monkeypox and HIV have collided with tragic effects,” said CDC Monkeypox Incident Commander Jonathan Mermin, M.D. “Today’s report reminds all of us that access to monkeypox and HIV prevention and treatment matters—for people’s lives and for public health.”
CDC recommends clinicians test all sexually active patients with monkeypox symptoms for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections due to the risk for severe monkeypox in individuals with HIV and other immunocompromising conditions, and consider early treatment with the antiviral drug tecovirimat for immunocompromised patients diagnosed with monkeypox.