A Houston, US-based Gay porn star is winning praise for going public about his battle with monkeypox infection on social media.
Silver Steele shared his monkeypox diagnosis with his around 39,000 fans on Twitter, providing regular updates about his symptoms, retweeting health alerts and asking people to protect themselves and get vaccinated. Many fans thanked him for encouraging them to get the jab.
Last week, the World Health Organisation declared that the monkeypox outbreak was a “public health emergency of international concern”. As of August 1, 2022, around 23,620 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported across the world since May 2022, including 45 confirmed cases in Australia.
Dismissed Bumps On Skin As Razor-burn
Day 18 of my journey. Still quarantining, and my lesions are improving. Less pain and I can actually eat full meals. I want to say how full my heart is from everyone messaging me that they’re getting vaxxed! 💉🦠 I know I’ve helped create change in Houston, and imma keep going! pic.twitter.com/fujBqUYA14
— SilverSteele – SHARE MY STORY #monkeypox (@TheSilverSteele) July 28, 2022
Steele, who has a degree in biology, entered the adult film industry in 2018. Earlier this year he won the 2022 Grabby Best Group Sex award. Till mid July, his Twitter page was predominantly filled with video clips from his onlyfans account.
On July 19, Steele first shared about his monkeypox diagnosis, assuring his fans that that he was experiencing mild symptoms.
“For everyone out there going through a monkeypox infection you have my greatest sympathies. Covid was nothing compared to this. Luckily, my case is a little more mild. My lesions are just a small cluster on my chin and they’re painless. Just really dealing with flu-like symptoms,” Steele posted.
He however reported hearing from friends who had far worse symptoms including “urethral and anorectal lesions that make going to the bathroom feel like you’re trying to pass hot needles.”
‘I Thought My Monkeypox Case Was Mild’
Day 15 of MonkeyPox. Thought I would share a video so you all could see how they look now. I’m also calling for viewers to show compassion and kindness to people going through this… it could be you. People can feel alone in this. Reach out and be a friend if you know someone! pic.twitter.com/oDNchwcv8U
— SilverSteele – SHARE MY STORY #monkeypox (@TheSilverSteele) July 25, 2022
Days after his first post, he reported back that his symptoms had taken a turn for the worse.
“I thought my monkeypox case was mild. I am now at two weeks and the lesions on my face are brutal. In addition, Monkeypox weakens your immune system and in my case I also have Strep throat for the first time ever as an added bonus. I now have additional lesions appearing randomly on my body albeit smaller ones that will stay small (hopefully) as my antibody count climbs,” Steele posted on Twitter.
“The pain I’ve been experiencing keeps my eyes full of tears and my keeps my light dimmed. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” he said.
Last tweet of the evening… for people who might be getting little blisters and have concerns, here's a play-by-play of what mine looked like:
Top left – July 11
Top right – July 15 – date I was tested
Bottom left – July 18 confirmed Mpox positive
Bottom right – July 21 pic.twitter.com/8Yg31gBxzj
— SilverSteele – SHARE MY STORY #monkeypox (@TheSilverSteele) July 26, 2022
On Day 15 after his diagnosis, Steele shared a video about the lesions on his face and body, urging people to “show compassion and kindness to people going through this… it could be you. People can feel alone in this.”
Three days later, he posted an update that his lesions were improving, though he was still quarantining. He urged his fans to get vaccinated. “Day 18 of my journey. Still quarantining, and my lesions are improving. Less pain and I can actually eat full meals. I want to say how full my heart is from everyone messaging me that they’re getting vaxxed!”
Monkeypox Is Not A Joke
While many social media users lauded Steele for his bravery in opening up about his diagnosis and his public health advocacy, there were others who criticised him.
Steele commented that he was not bothered about the hate he received from some, including those who used his photos to stygmatise gay men.
“The people who want to sling stones and arrows at me are not the audience for my post anyway. It’s meant to provide insight and education for those who want to know and to give visibility to the virus,” said Steele.
The adult film performer said that he decided to speak out “instead of sitting here letting this thing run its course across my face inflicting pain”.
Steele added that the experience with the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the 1980s was not forgotten by the community.
“Forty years ago, gay men hid and stayed quiet when a disease hit us. Then our brothers and trans sisters died en masse while the government did NOTHING. I refuse to be silent or shamed for this. I want to help others and encourage others to be proud of their sexual health,” said Steele.
He had a message for the community: “Monkeypox Is not a joke, please take the proper precautions and get vaccinated if it’s available near you.”