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Monkeypox self-diagnosis abilities, determinants of vaccination and self-isolation intention after diagnosis among MSM, the Netherlands, July 2022

The global epidemic of monkeypox, a zoonotic disease, has recently changed from infections predominantly following an interaction with animals, to human-to-human transmission [1,2]. The monkeypox epidemic in European countries is currently predominantly affecting men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) and the number of infections is still increasing [3,4]. In the Netherlands 1,025 cases have been reported as at 11 August 2022, the majority in Amsterdam. Given the spread of the disease, investigating self-diagnostic abilities, and vaccination and self-isolation intentions is relevant to tailor further public health responses.

We conducted an online survey among MSM using a cohort established in 2017 [5] (n = 257), along with recruitment of MSM on a gay online dating app (n = 137) in the first half of July 2022, before the start of targeted monkeypox vaccination in the Netherlands [6]. Of the included 394 MSM, 43% (n=171) were below the age of 45-years, 6% (n=22) were living with HIV and 66% (n=241) were currently using HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) (see supplementary materials S1 for the population characteristics by PrEP use status, and S2 for participants’ age distribution).


Photo by Matteus Silva


  1. Bragazzi NL, Kong JD, Mahroum N, Tsigalou C, Khamisy-Farah R, Converti M, et al. Epidemiological trends and clinical features of the ongoing monkeypox epidemic: A preliminary pooled data analysis and literature review. J Med Virol. 2022;jmv.27931.  PMID: 35692117 

  2. Bunge EM, Hoet B, Chen L, Lienert F, Weidenthaler H, Baer LR, et al. The changing epidemiology of human monkeypox-A potential threat? A systematic review. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2022;16(2):e0010141.  PMID: 35148313 

  3. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Joint ECDC-WHO Regional Office for Europe Monkeypox Surveillance Bulletin. Stockholm: ECDC; 2022. Available from:

  4. National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Monkeypox. Bilthoven: RIVM; 2022. Available from:

  5. Van Dijk M, De Wit JBF, Guadamuz TE, Martinez JE, Jonas KJ. Quality of Sex Life and Perceived Sexual Pleasure of PrEP Users in the Netherlands. J Sex Res. 2022;59(3):303-8.  PMID: 34128741 

  6. Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD-Amsterdam). Amsterdam start maandag 25 juli met vaccineren tegen monkeypox. Amsterdam: GGD Amsterdam; 2022. Available from:

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