@ WEST HOLLYWOOD CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
625 N. San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Los Angeles Blade, City of West Hollywood and LGBTQ+, non-profit and advocacy groups partner in community event on emerging virus
Expert panel to convene to discuss the emerging monkeypox crisis, the state of understanding, vaccination efforts, treatment, prevention and advocacy:
- As of July 20, 2022, the California Department of Health reports ~300 cases statewide
- Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reports 218 cases (7/2622); 2,108 cases have been reported nationwide. Reuters Monkeypox Factbox reports 17,800 cases in 70+ nations (as of 7/26/22)
Nearly all cases reported currently are among gay, bisexual men and trans women, though there has been some household transmission identified
WEST HOLLYWOOD (July 26, 2022) As numbers of monkeypox infections exceeds 120 in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Blade and over a dozen community partners are hosting a special Monkeypox Town Hall on Wednesday July 27 from 6 PM – 8PM to answer questions and offer information from a panel of experts.
The need for the Town hall is driven in part by a lack of a unified approach to containment and prevention.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA28) warned in a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on Tuesday, July 19, that more needed to be done:
“I strongly encourage HHS to develop and implement a comprehensive, long-term strategy to combat the spread of the monkeypox virus in the United States. Sky-rocketing cases and limited vaccination supply world-wide suggests that the monkeypox virus will continue to spread for years to come, if not indefinitely. The HIV crisis and Covid-19 pandemic have demonstrated it is critical that public health officials be forward-thinking in combating the spread of viral infections – particularly in instances when marginalized communities, such as the LGBTQ+ community, are hardest-hit. It is imperative that HHS consider, develop, and implement a public health strategy that will ensure access to monkeypox testing, vaccination, treatment, and provider education for years to come.”
“This is an outstanding opportunity for the community to step into the conversation and make sure our voices are heard, that we are fully informed and that we activate our networks of support to help lessen the likelihood of a catastrophe,” said LA Blade Publisher Troy Masters. “We are a heroic community with a history of confronting pandemic health challenges. But we need clarity on monkeypox and this Town Hall is an opportunity to do just that.”
WHAT: Monkeypox Town Hall – West Hollywood
WHEN: Wednesday July 27 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
WHERE: West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd 90069
Additionally, the Town Hall will be broadcast live on Spectrum Cable Channel 10 in West Hollywood, live streamed (and available for future viewing) on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv , and live streamed on AppleTV, Amazon FireTV, AndroidTV, Roku platforms by searching for “WeHoTV.” It will additionally be live streamed by sponsoring entities.
WHO: Panel includes epidemiologists from UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, LA County Department of Public Health, a recently recovered patient, prevention experts and LGBT community clinic representatives and prevention advocates. Bios below.
For Updates Related to the Monkeypox Town Hall and Los Angeles Blade,
The Los Angeles Blade has partnered with the City of West Hollywood and more than a dozen LGBTQ and HIV non-profit groups to host the Town Hall: JYNNEOS (the preventive vaccine from Bavarian Nordic), AIDS Healthcare Foundation, California Libraries, Ariadne Getty Foundation, Equality California, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, APLA, Grindr, [email protected] Coalition, APAIT, Latino Equality Alliance, BlackAIDS.org, In The Meantime Men’s Group, the WeHo Times are among the sponsors.
KTLA’S JOHN FENOGLIO
Out West Hollywood resident and one of KTLA’s rising star general assignment reporters, Fenoglio will moderate the two hour panel. Fenoglio recently hosted KTLA’s coverage of WeHo Pride. As someone with a medical background who has done significant reporting on the Covid-19 crisis in Los Angeles, he has been keeping a close eye on the emerging monkeypox crisis.
Panelists (scheduled to date)
- MATTHEW J. MIMIAGA
Matthew J. Mimiaga is Professor and Vice Chair of Epidemiology at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. He is also Director of the UCLA Center for LGBTQ Advocacy, Research & Health (C-LARAH). His research program focuses on improving health disparities and health equity among a variety of populations at risk for HIV infection, such as marginalized and disenfranchised groups with vulnerabilities to health disparities or stigmatized conditions, including sexual and gender minorities, racial/ethnic minorities, and other groups that experience social, political, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage.
- LEO MOORE
Dr. Leo Moore is the Medical Director for Clinic Services at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. In this role, he oversees 8 public health centers throughout the county that specialize in HIV prevention, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Tuberculosis, and Refugee Health. He is a medical graduate of Morehouse School of Medicine, completed Primary Care Internal Medicine residency at Yale University School of Medicine, and is an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program through which he completed his Master of Science in Health Policy and Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.
- ANDREA KIM
Dr. Andrea Kim is Director of the Vaccine Preventable Disease Control Program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Her role in combating vaccine disinformation, especially during the rollout of the vaccines for Covid-19 and her clear headed explanation of their role in prevention is well known. During the recent period of low vaccine inventory, Dr. Kim announced eligibility requirements, which include people who recently attended or worked at a commercial sex venue along with gay or bisexual men and transgender people who have certain sexually transmitted disease diagnoses, still follow state and federal guidelines to “prioritize those at higher risk.” She is an Epidemiologist with 25 years of experience in disease surveillance, epidemiology, and laboratory science programs.
Matt Ford is an actor, writer, and video producer who splits his time between West Hollywood and New York. He recently recovered from monkeypox after being quarantined at home in Los Angeles under a court order. He became one of the world’s first patients to go public with their diagnosis and was featured by media from around the globe, explaining the difficulties it imposed on his life. He has lately used his voice to call out the FDA and CDC for their slow deployment of the massive JYNNEOS vaccine supply and tecovirimat (TPOXX) treatment.
Dan Wohlfeiler, MJ, MPH, has worked in HIV and STD prevention since 1987 and is the co-founder of Building Healthy Online Communities, a partnership of public health leaders and owners of dating apps, which aims to support the sexual health of GBT men seeking new partners online. He is noted for his work on AIDS at the World Health Organization, the AIDS Prevention Program of Catalonia and the California STD Control Branch.
Alexander Goncalvez is currently the Senior Director of the Public Health Division at AHF, where he oversees the Testing and Wellness Programs nationally. He has worked in the HIV field in Los Angeles for the last 21 years and manages AHF programs in 15 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico providing free HIV/STD testing and treatment services through AHF Wellness clinics, mobile testing units and fixed-site testing. Over the past two years, Mr. Goncalvez’s team also organized and implemented AHF’s COVID vaccination program.
Mariana Marroquin will represent the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Trans Wellness Center. The Trans Wellness Center is the first-of-its-kind in Los Angeles and in the nation, providing a safe place and resources for transgender and non-binary individuals. As part of the world’s largest LGBTQ community center and one of the most robust LGBTQ and HIV clinic systems in the Los Angeles area, Marroquin’s leadership helps provide vital healthcare resources to our community.
About Los Angeles Blade
Los Angeles Blade is LA’s largest LGBTQ+ media and the nation’s most visited LGBTQ+ newspaper website. The newspaper is a partner publication of the Washington Blade (D.C.) and is the only LGBTQ+ media member of the White House Press Corps. Troy Masters is Publisher of the Los Angeles Blade and Brody Levesque is Editor.
About the City of West Hollywood
Since incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most influential cities in the nation for its outspoken advocacy on LGBTQ issues. No other city of its size has had a greater impact on the national public policy discourse on fairness and inclusiveness for LGBTQ people. More than 40 percent of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ and three of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are openly gay. The City has advocated for nearly four decades for measures that support LGBTQ individuals and the City is in the vanguard of efforts to gain and protect equality for all people on a state, national, and international level.
For reporters and members of the media seeking additional information about the City of West Hollywood, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Public Information Officer, Sheri A. Lunn, at (323) 848-6391 or [email protected].
For reporters and members of the media seeking additional information about the Town Hall or about the Los Angeles Blade, please contact Troy Masters, Publisher, at [email protected] or by cell (917) 406-1619.
As an in-person indoor event, use of masks is highly recommended. The City follows guidelines established by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, which has announced that LA County has entered the High COVID-19 Community Level with the Omicron variant BA.5 having become the dominant variant, which may have increased ability to escape immunity.
The event is open to the press and public, but you must register here to attend:
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Sent by AHF on behalf of the LA Blade & other Monkeypox Town Hall participants