Liberals’ Failure to Better Respond to Monkeypox Stigmatizes the Yukon’s Queer Community

Whitehorse – The Yukon NDP is calling for the Liberal Government to take preventative action on the monkeypox virus.

In North America, the monkeypox virus has overwhelmingly impacted men who have sex with men and others in the queer community. In the month since the territory’s first case was confirmed, the Liberal government has failed to protect and give proper healthcare to queer Yukoners.

The Liberals have done little outreach, leaving people who believe they have been exposed to monkeypox to navigate a confusing process alone.

“We’ve heard from folks trying to access support that they’re experiencing discrimination and sex-negative healthcare. This is unacceptable,” said Annie Blake, MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin. “By refusing to provide adequate support, the Liberals are contributing to the stigma of monkeypox.”

Across Canada, the monkeypox vaccine is being offered widely across the country as a preventative measure for those who need it. By offering targeted prevention, the public at large is also indirectly protected.

But in the Yukon, people are only offered the vaccine if they have already been exposed to the virus. Yukoners who are at high-risk of exposure are left with no protection.

Without any public health support, the Yukon Liberals are choosing to leave the Yukon’s queer community in the dark on how to manage public health risk.