OREANDA-NEWS Ahead of Stockholm Pride, the Swedish medical community has expressed worries that the massive festival held in the nation's capital, which usually gathers hundreds of gays, transsexuals and others may become a super-spreader event for monkeypox.Previous outbreaks have been linked to similar pride festivals in Gran Canaria and Belgium, with numerous Swedish cases highlighted in the media also originating at such festivities, including New York Pride. Most recently, the World Health Organization stated that at the moment, most cases continue to be reported among “men who have sex with men”, warning that the disease “could spread well beyond communities of practicing gay and bisexual men.”Among others, Rolf Gustafson, assistant professor in infectious diseases at the Karolinska University Hospital, one of Sweden's premier medical institutions, has been strongly critical of Stockholm Pride's reluctance to act against the spread of infection. There is no information at all about monkeypox on the festival's website, he emphasized. However, despite previous and current alarms that the pride festival in Stockholm could become a source of infection, the organizers have basically taken no measures of their own to stop the spread of the dreaded disease that has recently been declared a global emergency.“It is not an issue that affects us as a festival in any special way,” Stockholm Pride's chairman Fredrik Sawest?hl of the liberal-conservative Moderate party told the newspaper Expressen, denying any responsibility and instead referring to the Public Health Agency.

“As far as I know, there is no information about this on our website because it is not an issue for our website,” he added.Since early May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been reported in countries where the disease is not endemic. Most confirmed cases have been reported in Europe and North America, rather than West or Central Africa, where the monkeypox virus is native. Worldwide, about 20,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 76 countries, including 18,800 in seventy countries that haven't reported it historically, the CDC said. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that 98 percent of monkeypox infections have been found in “men who have sex with men.”Viggo Andreasen, a mathematical epidemiologist and associate professor at Roskilde University in Denmark, emphasized that monkeypox generally has poor conditions for spreading, and that the spread of infection requires many very close contacts.In neighboring Norway, the Public Health Institute recommended that vulnerable groups reduce their number of sex partners to avoid the infection.However, campaigns targeted at homosexuals have already sparked a backlash. Among others, the AIDS Foundation Denmark complained this approach was tantamount to stigmatization, comparing it to the bias and prejudice gay men received in the 80s and 90s during the early stages of the HIV epidemic.“People have written that we should just isolate all homosexuals on a deserted island so that monkeypox doesn't spread, because it's only them who have it,” its Director General Lars Christian ?stergreen said.