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Monkeypox - Update: 11 August-22

Hello Beautiful Loves

We want you to know that we love all of you and we feel an abundance of a duty of care towards you. Your safety is of paramount importance to us, one of our ethics is “Do No Harm”.

Monkeypox is a difficult ship to steer. In our community we have been and continue to be affected by HIV and Aids. We have just experienced 2 years of a Covid Pandemic, and now Monkeypox has arrived on our door steps. I think it is a normal human response to feel “Oh God, What Now”, and other variations of this.

Recently we asked our community in the App their feelings around cautiousness and safety around Monkeypox and attending in person events. The results were split. Some of our community feel very strictly cautious and would not attend events, others feel that they will attend and proceed with caution, whilst others feel that will carry on as normal. So a real mixed bag and when developing Safety Protocol recommendations for our community, yet our aim is to take into account, and respect and try to have protocols that reflect each person's needs.

So with that spirit of your replies, we have developed these protocols for our events …. Love Jason, Ingo

Safety Protocols And Suggestions For Protecting You:

Before The Event:

  • Personal Declaration & Self-Symptom Check - At our residential and weekend events we will ask you to sign a Personal Declaration that you have no Monkeypox symptoms & a waiver.
  • Get Vaccinated as soon as you can (which may be after the event).
  • Minimise “High Risk” activity 2 weeks before attending any Tantra event.
  • Check for Symptoms:As per our already existing terms and conditions; you have a responsibility to be vigilant and NOT ATTEND our event if you have any symptoms or you suspect you have been in close contact with someone. Please email me jason@tantra4gaymen.co.uk if either of these circumstances happen. All information will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

During The Event:

ON ARRIVAL we will ask you to complete a self declaration form that you have no Monkeypox Symptoms. It will also include a waiver form for you to sign.

(Always) Use Antibacterial Gel between partners.

(Always) Check Your Symptoms before attending LoveFest and each day during your stay.

(Always) Wear A Band!* We are instituting a colour-coded band system at our residential and weekend events so you can quickly and visually share with others your preference on touch and intimacy. (This band protocol does not apply to our shorter Facilitator events.)

Red - Highly Cautious - Please Do Not Touch

Amber - Cautious - Please Ask Before Touching Me

Green - Please Touch Me Freely

(Always) Be Alert to Symptoms on Others - As per our already existing terms and conditions; you have a responsibility to alert Jason or Ingo immediately if you think a person attending our event may have sexual health symptoms.

(Optional) Wear Vinyl Gloves in touch based workshops. This is optional. Each workshop room will have boxes of these. Facilitators will know

(Optional) limit Body to Body Contact.

You are responsible for your own actions and intimate interactions with others. Everything you do, you agree is of your own freewill and your own free choice.

* Protocols for our three-hour events hosted by our facilitators: these events will not use the colour bands and will adapt the written personal declaration statement.

Important Monkeypox Facts To Be Aware Of:

This is not Covid! It is not a fatal disease, but if caught, it is uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Monkeypox spreads through skin-to-skin contact. It is not air-borne.

Different members of our community have different perspectives and approaches to Monkeypox.

There is a highly effective Monkeypox vaccine that is becoming more readily available in the US and the UK. Reading various sources we predict that September to December, Priority Persons will be vaccinated, and December to March, the vaccine will be available for anyone who wants it.

Neither the NHS (UK) or CDC (USA) at this moment are recommending stopping events where men who have sex with men have physical contact.

We strongly encourage everyone to consider being vaccinated as soon as they can access this.

The numbers are incredibly small in relation to the number of men who have sex with men. The risk appears to be very low.

As of 11 Aug-22 there are:

  • 33017 total Monkeypox cases in the UKsince the beginning of the outbreak (1), but only a fraction of these cases are currently “active”.* - Proportion of MWHSWM Population (this is 0.0035% of men who have sex with men in the UK) (3)
  • 10,391 total Monkeypox cases in the USAsince the beginning of the outbreak (2), but only a fraction of these are currently “active”.* - Proportion of MWHSWM Population (this is 0.0023% if men who have sex with men in the USA(4)
  • *Current active cases are not tracked in either number.

Monkeypox Symptoms

According to the NHS, symptoms of Monkeypox are: - a high temperature, a headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen glands, shivering (chills), exhaustion and joint pain.

A rash usually appears 1 to 5 days after the first symptoms. The rash often begins on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body. Then starts raised spots, which turn into small blisters filled with fluid. These blisters eventually form scabs which later fall off.

The symptoms usually clear up in a few weeks. While you have symptoms, you can pass monkeypox on to other people.

Further information can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/monkeypox/

How Does Monkeypox Spread?

Monkeypox mostly likely spreads through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact. Because the understanding and management of the virus is constantly evolving, please check with one of the following sources for the most up-to-date information:

https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/transmission.html

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/monkeypox/

We are watching this situation very closely, and will share any important information with you as soon as we have it. We want you to have a life-changing tantric journey where you experience and celebrate the brotherhood that we all share. By following these guidelines, we should be able to do just that!