Words by GOLD newsdesk
In an effort to combat misinformation surrounding monkeypox, Gilead Sciences is partnering with a host of LGBTQ+ and human rights organisations to educate groups most affected by the disease.
The biopharmaceutical company will collaborate with advocacy groups including GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, The National Black Justice Coalition, the National Center for Lesbian Right and the National Minority AIDS Council.
Gilead Sciences has additionally pledged $5 million in global grant funding to help support three key areas of focus: a campaign around public education and vaccine hesitancy, a public policy response and a global outbreak emergency fund.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 99% of monkeypox cases reported so far have occurred in men, 94% of whom had recent male-to-male sexual or close contact. While it is not a sexually transmitted infection, monkeypox is spreading within these communities.
“Today we are proud to work with our long-time collaborators around the world to help meet the immediate needs of impacted communities and to help identify longer term solutions to this emerging crisis,” said Deborah Telman, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel, Gilead Sciences. “At Gilead, we are also accelerating and expanding our early-stage antiviral drug screening program to identify new molecules for potential future treatment of MPV infection.”
Gilead has announced it will additionally create the Global Monkeypox Outbreak Emergency Fund to provide grants of up to $50,000 to existing grantee organisations working in regions with active monkeypox outbreaks. These funds may be used to cover expenses such as community mobilisation activities specifically addressing monkeypox outbreaks in communities impacted by HIV, costs relating to HIV testing and essential safety materials.
“As we saw with HIV, COVID-19, and now monkeypox, misinformation continues to challenge the LGBTQ+ community,” commented Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO, GLAAD. “This new collaboration will enable creating and distributing content and resources to help our community know the facts and to understand prevention and treatment for MPV. When communities receive accurate, timely information, they are empowered to take appropriate action, leading to long-lasting, positive health outcomes.”