FACT CHECK: Did The Atlantic Publish This Article About Straight Men Ending ‘The Stigma’ Surrounding Monkeypox?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows an article from The Atlantic about straight men being in a position to “end the stigma surrounding monkey pox.”

Verdict: False

The screenshot is digitally fabricated. There is no evidence to suggest The Atlantic or any other news organization published such an article.

Fact Check:

Several states, including California and New York, have declared monkeypox a “public health emergency” due to a spike in cases, according to Politico. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently advised men who have intercourse with other men to limit their sexual partners to mitigate the spread of the virus, according to Insider.

The Facebook image appears to show a screenshot of an article from The Atlantic titled “My First Gay Orgy,” attributed to a writer by the name of Tom Nichols. “Straight Men Are In A Unique Position To End The Stigma Surrounding Monkey Pox,” reads the alleged subhead.

“‘You need to have gay sex in order to make people feel better about monkeypox’ Literally why? What kind of backwards logic is this?” reads the post’s caption. (RELATED: Did TheJournal.ie Publish This Article About Monkeypox Living On Surfaces For Up To 120 Years?)

The image is digitally fabricated. The alleged article cannot be found on The Atlantic’s website or on any of its verified social media accounts. There are likewise no credible news reports about The Atlantic or any other news outlet publishing such a headline. 

Gay and bisexual men are at the highest risk of infection from the virus, according to the WHO. Experts traced one of the first outbreaks of monkeypox this year to two raves held in Spain and Belgium where gay and bisexual men engaged in sex, The Associated Press reported.

Check Your Fact has reached out to a spokesperson for The Atlantic for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received. 

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter


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