Black and Hispanic people make up a disproportionately high number of monkeypox cases, according to a new analysis.
The analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that Black people make up 26 percent of monkeypox cases, compared to 12 percent of the population, while Hispanic people make up 28 percent of cases compared to 19 percent of the population.
The data, from May to July, indicates that racial disparities are an issue with monkeypox, as they have been in the COVID-19 pandemic as well.
“Underlying structural inequities place people of color at increased risk for public health threats, as was seen in COVID-19 and as is beginning to be observed amid the MPX outbreak,” the analysis states. “Early and intentional efforts will be key to minimizing and preventing disparities going forward amid the MPX outbreak and for future public health threats.”
Almost all of the monkeypox cases so far have been reported among men, at 99 percent, and 94 percent reported recent sexual or intimate contact with other men, the analysis noted.
Therefore, the analysis also noted that in addition to racial disparities, “addressing challenges that include homophobia, stigma, and discrimination will be key given the disproportionate impacts among men who have sex with other men.”
Difficulty accessing vaccination has also been an ongoing concern with monkeypox. While data is limited, four states — Georgia, Colorado, New Jersey and North Carolina — and Washington, D.C., are reporting racial data for monkeypox vaccination, showing disparities there as well, the analysis found. It found that in D.C., for example, Black people have received 22 percent of vaccines but make up 36 percent of cases.