Dallas’ Black Pride Weekend events canceled to raise monkeypox awareness

The upcoming Black Pride Weekend in Dallas has been canceled “out of precaution” over the spread of the monkeypox virus, event organizers announced.

New monkeypox cases continue to be reported daily in Dallas County, although the daily number has declined since a peak of 25 new cases on Aug. 10, according to the county health department. A total of 677 cases have been confirmed since the outbreak began in June.

The celebratory weekend event, scheduled for Sept. 29 through Oct. 1, should draw between 10,000 and 15,000 in attendance, said Kirk Myers-Hill, president and corporate adviser to Dallas Southern Pride, which hosts Black Pride Weekend.

The decision to cancel was made not only to prevent the virus from spreading, but also to raise awareness of vaccination options for black and Latino members of the LGBT community, organizers said. Dallas Southern Pride directs event attendees to immunization clinics hosted by Abounding Prosperity, Inc., a nonprofit organization formed to address social and health inequalities in Dallas County.

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“We are using the cancellation of this event to raise awareness of vaccine justice,” Myers-Hill said. “We have been tracking monkeypox cases and the lack of vaccinations and are working with county, state and federal officials to ensure we can meet safely in the future.”

Dallas Black Pride is another event affected by the smallpox-like virus, which can be transmitted through skin contact, prolonged intimate contact, or contact with contaminated materials such as clothing or bedding.

Dallas’ Station 4 owners postponed a circuit party at the LGBT-heavy dance club in early August because of the virus because of the virus, and organizers of the Gay Softball World Series, being hosted in Dallas, advised athletes not to attend on Participate in the tournament’s annual t-shirt swap.

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A monkeypox infection is typically accompanied by flu-like symptoms, followed by lesions that can spread throughout the body or be limited to just a few sites. The lesions go through several stages, including lifting and filling with fluid, before they scab and fall off. They can be incredibly painful, although monkeypox is rarely fatal.

While vaccines are available for a limited group of people, doses are scarce. Dallas County officials have urged residents to reconsider attending large gatherings. Men who have sex with men have been given a special warning, as the virus has mainly spread among this demographic.

Myers-Hill said Dallas Southern Pride will look at pride events that have recently taken place in other cities, including the recent Atlanta Black Pride weekend, to see if the gatherings have resulted in a spike in monkeypox cases. Effective immediately, Dallas Southern Pride has scheduled a holiday-themed weekend of events beginning December 17th.

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Abounding Prosperity is one of the few community health organizations to offer monkeypox vaccines in partnership with Dallas County Health and Human Services. The nonprofit’s immunization clinic is located at the HOPE Health and Wellness Center at 1619 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Dallas Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the first and third Saturdays of the month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. while supplies last.

Concerned about monkeypox? Here’s what you need to know

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