The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced most patients diagnosed with severe manifestations of monkeypox also had HIV. 

The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examined clinical case data for 57 patients hospitalized with monkeypox complications and found that 82% had an HIV infection.

“Monkeypox and HIV have collided with tragic effects,” said CDC Monkeypox Incident Commander Dr. Jonathan Mermin in a news release from the agency. “Today’s report reminds all of us that access to monkeypox and HIV prevention and treatment matters—for people’s lives and for public health.”

The report also found that 95% of patients were male, and 68% identified as non-Hispanic Black. Seventeen patients received intensive care unit–level care, and 12 have died. 

Monkeypox was a cause of death or contributing factor to five of the deaths, and six deaths remain under investigation to determine whether monkeypox was a causal or contributing factor, according to the report. In one death, monkeypox was not a cause or contributing factor. 

Healthcare providers and public health professionals are urged to become aware that severe morbidity and mortality associated with monkeypox have been observed during the current outbreak in the United States, particularly among highly immunocompromised persons. The CDC also recommends clinicians test all sexually active patients with suspected monkeypox for HIV at the time of monkeypox testing unless a patient is already known to have HIV infection.  

“Providers should consider early commencement and extended duration of monkeypox-directed therapy in highly immunocompromised patients with suspected or laboratory-diagnosed monkeypox. Engaging all persons with HIV in sustained care remains a critical public health priority,” the report reads. 

As of Oct. 27, there are 28,244 confirmed and probably monkeypox cases and six deaths in the United States. 

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