Mpox Toolkit for People Who Work in Sex Trades or Conduct Outreach to Sex Workers

Who should use this toolkit? People engaged in sex work or sex trades and professionals that serve or conduct outreach to sex workers.

What is this toolkit about? This toolkit provides helpful mpox information and resources to help prevent the spread of mpox virus and reduce the chance of getting mpox.

How should I use this toolkit? To find key resources on mpox, including links to resources that can be shared with clients and colleagues.

In the 2022 multinational mpox outbreak, data show that the virus is spreading mostly through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including sex, with someone who has mpox. People engaged in sex work or sex trades may have an increased chance of exposure to mpox. Organizations working with people in sex trades can ensure resources are available to prevent the spread of mpox.

For People Engaged in Sex Work or Sex Trades

If you engage in sex work or sex trades, you may have an increased chance of getting mpox. This is because mpox can be spread through sexual activity and close, skin-to-skin contact, and less commonly through touching clothes, linens, sex toys, or fetish gear used by someone with mpox.

There is a vaccine that can help protect you from getting mpox. Contact your local health department to find out if you’re eligible for the vaccine and where it’s available in your area, or visit the vaccine locator.

For Professionals That Serve or Conduct Outreach to Sex Workers

In the course of their usual work, social services and outreach professionals are not considered to be at-risk for mpox exposure unless they also engage in sex work or other activities that might put them at risk. If staff members are concerned about a possible exposure, they can review information on monitoring and risk assessment.

  • Service and outreach professionals can help people who have been exposed to or have symptoms of mpox by having clear processes in place.
  • Service and outreach professionals can work with health departments to support access to mpox testing and vaccination for the people that they serve.
  • Mpox vaccination coverage can be improved through vaccination events that are:
    • Paired with information about the vaccine and other services,
    • At multiple time points, and
    • At locations where people engaged in sex work access supportive services, work, or spend time.
  • Service and outreach professionals can share fact-based mpox educational materials with sex workers and ensure communication with sex workers reduces stigma.