LAS VEGAS, Nevada (KVVU) — A Las Vegas man who was one of the earliest cases of monkeypox in Nevada speaks out about his ordeal, hoping to break stigmas and encourage testing and vaccines for prevention.
“It’s best for people who have been through it and experienced it, those should be the ones to speak out about it,” Brian Bonds said, also an advocate for health and LGBTQ+ health. He has lived a healthy lifestyle for years with HIV in remission and works in the adult film industry as an actor.
Bonds traveled to San Diego for Pride festivities and went to gatherings with friends. In late July, he learned that one of his friends had tested positive for monkeypox. Around July 25, he developed a bump on his nose.
“It just looks like a zit. But then it eventually developed. I went to my doctor, they did a little culture. And we got the results back. It was confirmed positive,” he said.
He also ended up testing positive for COVID-19 at the same time.
Bonds developed bumps on his nose, which he described as extremely painful. “I felt like I just got punched in the nose for like three days straight,” he said. Through the Huntridge Clinic, he was able to obtain TPox medicine through the Southern Nevada Health District. “It was basically just fever, body aches, chills along with swelling around the nose. It seemed like my nose doubled in size,” he said.
The bumps on Bonds’ face have mostly disappeared, though the process has taken weeks. He urges anyone to get tested and treated quickly, to perhaps lessen the symptoms.
“If you get the vaccine, it could probably help with the symptoms not being so bad. If you can get something that could help, or even help prevent it, why not go do it?” he said.
Bonds hopes to lessen the stigmas around the virus, as CDC officials remind people that any person, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or age, can get the virus. The majority of cases come from sexual contact, prolonged physical skin-to-skin contact, or touch with rashes; it also spreads through respiratory droplets and could even pop up on surfaces.
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