The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) and the New Orleans Health Department (NOHD) are partnering this weekend with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to host the Southern Decadence Health Hub, which will provide free monkeypox and COVID-19 vaccinations and other health services.

The Health Hub will be located at the main North Rampart Street entrance of Louis Armstrong Park (801 N. Rampart St.), conveniently located near the French Quarter where many Southern Decadence events and activities will occur. The site will operate between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. beginning on Thursday, September 1, and run through the end of Southern Decadence on Labor Day (September 5). The Health Hub will provide a range of health resources, including syringe exchange service, naloxone and fentanyl test strips as available.

Offering monkeypox vaccines throughout Southern Decadence is part of LDH and NOHD's public health strategy aimed at keeping people safe and healthy ahead of and during large events, and is made possible by additional vaccine allocations by CDC ahead of the event. The two-pronged strategy deployed in the run-up to Southern Decadence has featured both large events, such as the Vaxxtravaganza held on August 24, and smaller, more focused events held at bars and other trusted locations in communities.

Full protection from a monkeypox vaccine occurs 14 days after the second dose, which is administered 28 days after the first dose. That is why it is important that Southern Decadence attendees consider taking additional precautions to stay safer, protect others and prevent the spread of the virus.

Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact including:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, sores, or scabs from a person with monkeypox
  • Contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox
  • Contact with respiratory secretions, through kissing and other face-to-face contact

This contact can happen in certain social and sexual situations, including:

  • Hugging, massage, and kissing
  • Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butt) of a person with monkeypox
  • Touching fabrics and objects that were used by a person with monkeypox and that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys

People are encouraged to exchange contact information with partners to assist in contact tracing in the event of a monkeypox case.

To understand more about the risk of various activities, please see the graphic below.

Resources

  • The New Orleans Health Department will keep their monkeypox website updated with information for event attendees, including a resource guide that will include locations for monkeypox vaccinations, monkeypox testing, monkeypox treatment and sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing.
  • CDC recommendationsfor safer sex, social gatherings and monkeypox
  • LDH monkeypox webpage