Monkeypox: Corentin was one of the first patients
In June 2022, Corentin caught monkeypox. Symptoms, pain, confinement but also homophobic reactions: he gives himself up to us and explains the fight he is waging against this new epidemic.
“It all started with fever and body aches. Given the period, I obviously thought of the Covid, but I did a test which turned out to be negative”said Corentin straight away. The 27-year-old was eventually diagnosed with monkeypox.
“A week passed between the symptoms and the diagnosis”he explains. A latency period long enough for Corentin to potentially infect someone else. “A friend slept in my bed, therefore in my sheets, at that time”. Especially since“At no time did I suspect that I had monkeypox. I did not expect it at all”continues Corentin.
Read also: Monkey pox: we explain where and how to get vaccinated
“I only had three pimples, I was lucky. On the other hand, I had very, very strong pain at the level of the anal lesion. I don’t think I’ve had so much pain in my life”he confides. A horrible time for the young man. “I lost seven kg in the space of three days. I no longer ate. The pain became obsessive”.
Once the diagnosis was made, Corentin had to isolate himself for three weeks in his small Parisian apartment. “When you are one of the first 400 cases to have a virus in a country, you are alone. When you have a cold, you can ask your friends if they have a herbal tea to recommend”it appears. “There, I felt completely isolated”he recalls.
His fight: doing prevention
Corentin then decides to express himself on social networks. Faced with the lack of information and prevention, he wants to alert. “I wrote a thread on Twitter explaining my symptoms. The idea was to say: I have monkeypox, it’s not funny, it hurts, here’s how to prevent the disease and what it what to do in case of symptomshe explains.
I have the much revered monkey pox and I’m locked up at home for three weeks. The opportunity for me to do a little prevention friends according to what the hospital told me 👇👇
— PINSON (@hennebert8) July 2, 2022
Although many people recognized themselves in the symptoms described by Corentin and were able to get tested, he came up against “a torrent of homophobic mud”. The young man, still confined, faces a shower of messages of violent insults. “I know how to disconnect, that’s not the problem. They are morons behind their screen. But what worries me is: what are the consequences in life? Will there be an increase in the number attacks? A bad reception by the medical staff?
A group with demands
He also fears a stigma comparable to that of the AIDS years. “Monkey pox doesn’t just affect men who have sex with men. Women are affected, and increasingly children, too”reminds Corentin. Indeed, the transmission can be done by the sheets, the dishes… “A virus is not going to stop in front of a straight guy and say to himself: he’s a straight guy, I’ll stop there”he quips.
Faced with all these subjects, Corentin did not see himself sitting idly by. “A lot of things are missing. Vaccination is still too slow, and we need a real ambitious campaign for prevention”he believes. Along with other monkeypox sufferers, he launched a collective. A column was published in the JDD with 15 demands against “the failure of government action”.
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