Gay porn star shares ‘brutal’ monkeypox experience: ‘I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy’

Gay porn star Silver Steele has opened up about his “brutal” experience of monkeypox.

Steele told Rolling Stone he had a lot of skin-to-skin contact – one of the main ways monkeypox spreads – during a Fourth of July party.

A few days later, his face came out in small lumps, which he initially shrugged off as razor burn. He tested on 15 July and found out he was positive three days later.

He documented his experience with the virus in excruciating detail on Twitter to his near 40,000 followers.

Steele, who has a degree in biology, assumed monkeypox would be “mild”. It was not.

At first, the lesions on his face were “painless” and were accompanied by flu-like symptoms.

But this didn’t last for long. He wrote: “I am now at two weeks and the lesions on my face are brutal.

“I now have additional lesions appearing randomly on my body, albeit smaller ones (hopefully).

“The pain I’ve been experiencing keeps my eyes full of tears and keeps my light dimmed. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy…”

Last tweet of the evening… for people who might be getting little blisters and have concerns, here’s a play-by-play of what mine looked like:
Top left – July 11
Top right – July 15 – date I was tested
Bottom left – July 18 confirmed Mpox positive
Bottom right – July 21 pic.twitter.com/8Yg31gBxzj

— SilverSteele – SHARE MY STORY #monkeypox (@TheSilverSteele) July 26, 2022

On day 15, Steele shared a post about the now scabbing lesions on his face and body. He called on people to “show compassion and kindness to people going through this”.

“It could be you,” he said. “People can feel alone in this.”

Twenty days into monkeypox, on 30 July, Steele said his symptoms had only just eased up. He said he no longer felt he needed painkillers and that the lesions covering his body were “nearly gone”.

Breakthrough! Day 20: Yesterday was the first day I stopped taking pain meds and I feel great. No pain, and lesions are improving considerably. Still isolating until my face is healed, but my body lesion are nearly gone! Thank you for all the healing thoughts you’ve all sent! pic.twitter.com/jRBgAByGcM

— SilverSteele – SHARE MY STORY #monkeypox (@TheSilverSteele) July 30, 2022

He added that friends have reported even more severe symptoms, including “urethral and anorectal lesions that make going to the bathroom feel like you’re trying to pass hot needles”.

Steele said he has encountered bigotry from some Twitter users. But not speaking out is far more harmful than the odd troll, he said.

“The people who want to sling stones and arrows at me are not the audience for my post anyway,” he said.

“It’s meant to provide insight and education for those who want to know and to give visibility to the virus.”

Monkeypox, similar to smallpox, typically sees people experience fever, body aches and swollen lymph nodes before a rash begins to form. The rash first starts with flat red marks that swell with puss, with lesions seen on the genitals, anus and mouth.

The outbreak has so far been detected mostly among gay and bisexual men.

One study found that of 528 monkeypox cases across 16 countries, 98 per cent of patients were gay or bisexual men and men who have sex with men.

Vaccination programmes are targeting queer men, and the community is being urged to be on the look-out for symptoms.

However, activists and officials are also wary of reporting and messaging around the virus veering into homophobia, stressing that  monkeypox is not a “gay disease” and can affect anyone.

The World Health Organization has said it’s only a matter of time before monkeypox spreads beyond the community, and has declared monkeypox a public health emergency.

 

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