WTF is


MPOX, formerly known as monkeypox, is spread when there is skin-to-skin contact with an infected person who has sores or scabs. MPOX can be spread through kissing or lengthy face-to-face contact, sharing towels, bedding, sex toys, or unwashed clothing.

Get tested for MPOX:

MPOX illustration

How do I know if I have it?

  • Symptoms for MPOX start showing 1 to 2 weeks after being exposed to the virus.
  • Symptoms can include fever, swollen lymph nodes, intense headache, muscle aches, and rash. The rash which looks like individual bumps (lesions) can develop on your face, hands, feet, genitals, or elsewhere on your body.
  • Though some people have a mild rash, sometimes the rash can be very painful. You can easily spread MPOX while you have lesions.
Images of MPOX on skin

How do I get tested?

If you think you have MPOX, stay at home until you can talk to your doctor and get tested. If you don’t have insurance or your insurance doesn’t cover the cost of testing, you can visit Health Center 1 or Mazzoni Center to get tested at low or no cost. If you have severe symptoms, go to an urgent care facility.

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How do I get treated?

  • Most people recover with just rest and medication like Tylenol for symptoms. But if you have severe symptoms or are at risk for severe disease, there are medications available that may help.
  • The rashes will crust and scab over after about 2 weeks. Once all scabs have fallen off, you can no longer spread MPOX.

If you think you have MPOX…

  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact and kissing and avoid sharing bedding, towels, clothing, or sex toys with others.
  • Inform your recent sexual partners that they may have been exposed to MPOX so they can help prevent spreading it to others.
  • If you have to go out, cover rashes or sores with clothing, gloves, or sealed bandages and wear a mask over your nose and mouth.


How is it transmitted?

MPOX doesn’t spread through casual conversations, or by walking past someone. It is also unlikely you’d get it from touching a surface (like a doorknob or bus seat). However, you can get it through:

  • Skin-to-skin contact with an infected person who has sores or scabs.
  • Kissing or lengthy face-to-face contact.
  • Sharing towels, bedding, sex toys, or unwashed clothing.
Graphic of sex toy plug
Graphic of banana with condom


How do I protect myself?

  • Use condoms every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. While condoms don’t fully protect against MPOX, they can help reduce the risk of skin-to-skin contact with bumps in the genital area.
  • Talk to your provider about vaccine. Vaccine is available at Health Center 1.


Find a location in Philadelphia to get a MPOX vaccine. All locations allow walk-ins but you can also schedule an appointment.

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Read more about the most common STIs and other infections below to know how to get tested and treated.

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Syphilis is an STI that starts as a painless sore. It can cause many different symptoms including rash, swollen lymph nodes and even brain damage and blindness.

Chlamydia is an STI that may include painful urination and abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina.

Gonorrhea is an STI that causes painful urination and discharge. If untreated it may cause infertility.

Mpox is spread through close, physical contact between individuals. Symptoms can include rashes, bumps, or blisters.

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Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis is often caused by a virus and there are many different kinds.

Genital herpes is a common STI that causes genital pain and sores.


Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are many different types of HPV, some more serious than others. The good thing is that there is a vaccine to prevent many types of HPV.