Prevention and Harm Reduction

How Do I Prevent Mpox?

General Prevention and Harm Reduction

  • Get vaccinated and wait until 2 weeks after your second dose to have full protection (up to 85%).
  • Wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Wear a mask if coming into prolonged (3+ hours) face to face contact with someone
  • Disinfect surfaces touched by someone with uncovered mpox lesions.
  • Do not handle towels, bedding, or clothing used by someone with mpox.
  • Do not share eating utensils or food with someone diagnosed with mpox.
  • Avoid crowds and crowded areas where you may have skin to skin contact with someone (bars, clubs, sex parties, saunas, and bath houses).

Sexual Health Based Prevention and Harm Reduction

  • Hold off on having sex or close contact (kissing, cuddling, hugging) if you are feeling ill and/or have a rash. Encourage sex partners and friends to do the same. Phone sex/sexting is a great alternative.
  • If you do have sex with someone who has mpox, have them cover lesions with bandaids or clothing; use condoms and dental dams as ways to cover genital and rectal lesions.
  • Do not douche while having rectal lesions. Douching while having rectal lesions can transmit mpox further up the GI tract.
  • Swap contact info with partners so you can notify each other if one of you tests positive for mpox.
  • Masturbating in the same room while not touching the other person can be an effective way of preventing transmission.
  • Wash your hands, sex toys, gear, bedding, and towels after having sex.

Visit our resources page for more harm reduction resources!