Monkeypox transmission

The main transmission route for Mpox viruses ("monkeypox viruses") is considered to be close and prolonged skin-to-skin contact (e.g. during cuddling or sex), especially contact with the skin lesions (rash, blisters, pustules, sores, scabs). We have compiled all important information on the transmission of monkeypox here.


The most important facts in brief

The main way of transmission for Mpox viruses ("monkeypox viruses") is close and prolonged skin-to-skin contact, e.g. during cuddling or sex.

  • Avoid contact with skin lesions.
  • Condoms do not protect against infection, but they can reduce the risk of particularly painful courses in the anal and genital areas.

How are Mpox viruses ("monkeypox viruses") transmitted?

Normally, "monkeypox viruses" (MPOXV) are transmitted from infected animals to humans through bites, body fluids or consumption in regions where they are particularly common.

From person to person, they are mainly transmitted through close and prolonged skin-to-skin contact, especially through contact with the skin lesions (rash, blisters, pustules, sores, scabs).

The fluid in the blisters and from the sores that appear after the blisters burst is particularly contagious, as is the scab that forms over them.

Therefore, the virus is also transmissible through objects used during sex (e.g. sex toys) or through contact with contaminated textiles (for example, clothing, bed linen, towels).

The main entry points for the virus in the current outbreak are the mucous membranes involved in sex (anal region, penis, oral cavity).

Transmission of Mpox ("monkeypox") during sex

Mpox are not a sexually transmitted disease in the strict sense. However, due to the close skin-to-skin contact alone, transmission of "monkeypox viruses" is possible during sex, for example when cuddling or kissing and also through the shared use of sex toys.

Since the skin lesions can occur anywhere on the body, condoms do not protect against infection with "monkeypox", but they can reduce the risk of particularly painful courses in the anal and genital areas.
If I have MPOX, at what point am I no longer contagious?

Transmission is no longer possible until all wounds have healed, the scabs have fallen off and a new layer of skin has formed. This can take several weeks.

How can I protect myself from Mpox ("monkeypox")?

The most important measures to reduce the risk of transmission are:

  •  You can get vaccinated after close skin-to-skin contact with people with the disease to prevent contracting the disease or a severe course. Preventive vaccination is also possible. Further information:
  •  Look out for skin changes in yourself and others and avoid contact with skin and mucous membranes (rashes, blisters, wounds, scabs) as far as possible.
  •  Do not share objects (e.g. dildos and other sex toys) during sex.

In the case of sexual transmission, the pathogens at the entry sites (especially mouth, penis/genital region, anal region) often lead to very painful symptoms. Condoms reduce the risk.

The "monkeypox" risk is further reduced by avoiding contact with objects and textiles that have been in contact with skin lesions of infected persons for a longer period of time. Mpox-VIren ("monkeypox virus") can remain contagious outside the body for a long time.

[Translated with ]

Released by IWWIT Editorial Office
Last updated 9.12.2022

Related links/sources:


You can find testimonials on the topic of Mpox in our Blog.
Further information can be found on the website of the Deutschen Aidshilfe.