Law & Disorder

Impact of Monkeypox: In prisons, and in queer community

Today’s show features a deep dive into the impact of monkeypox in marginalized communities: in jails and prisons, and in queer community | NIAID

Exploring monkeypox in our most marginalized communities, we chat with Homer Venters about that virus in prisons and jails. Homer Venters is a physician and epidemiologist, and was chief medical officer at the notorious New York jail Rikers Island. He is also the author of Life and Death in Rikers Island. His most recent article calls on the Center for Disease Control to act immediately in order to prevent a monkeypox explosion in prisons.

Homer Venters‘ article calling on the CDC to act:
Explore his book Life & Death on Rikers Island:
Follow Homer Venters on Twitter:

Continuing our show: A CDC statement released May 18th says “anyone can spread monkeypox, regardless of sexual orientation,” while also noting the current tracking suggests “gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases.” Early data of the current outbreak shows 98% of the cases were among gay or bisexual men. 41% of cases are people living with HIV. Independent public health researchers noted that limited testing capacity so far made it difficult to accurately measure more recent cases and spread. The federal government has expanded testing capacity as of mid-July.

When we first started hearing about Monkeypox, it was just described as a virus you could catch from skin-to-skin contact – then it seemed like almost overnight – spread was being blamed on queer folks – gay men in particular – so, what happened?

On this episode, we speak with Kenyon Farrow, the Managing Director of Advocacy & Organizing at PrEP4All, as well as Juba Kalamka, the HIV Services Director & PrEP/Linkage to Care Navigator at San Francisco’s St James Infirmary, to explore the impact of monkeypox on our LGBTQ communities both nationally and locally.

Follow Juba Kalamka on Twitter:
The org that Juba works for – St James Infirmary:
Follow Kenyon Farrow on Twitter:
The org that Kenyon works for – PrEP4ALL:

Today’s show featured music by Michael Louis, who is an Oakland-born multi instrumentalist, composer and producer. You can follow him on instagram:


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