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Dallas community group to host town hall meeting on mpox virus

The FreeLux Project and AIDS Walk South Dallas will provide information and resources on mpox virus. The meeting will be held at Marty's Live in Dallas on Dec. 11.

DALLAS — Data shows mpox cases are declining across Dallas County. However, the potential for its spread remains a community concern.

“Monkeypox, it came and it hit the gay and trans community very hard. And then it’s almost like it went away. But the truth is it has not gone away,” said Nathaniel Holley, co-founder of The FreeLux Project.

The FreeLux Project and its community partners are hosting an mpox town hall meeting at Marty’s Live in Dallas on Sunday, Dec. 11.

“I mean, it’s really important for our community to have representation and to continue to move the conversation forward on issues that affect us,” Holley explained.

The town hall will provide the public with information, education, and resources, according to Holley. He says the meeting will also offer useful information about access to mpox vaccine and testing.

Auntjuan “Mr. Community” Wiley, founder of AIDS Walk South Dallas, Inc., will be among panelists sharing personal stories.

“Monkeypox is not going away. It just became silent, as so many other diseases that plague our community. Especially the African American MSM’s and transgender community,” Wiley explained.

The first case of the mpox virus reported in Dallas County was in June 2022, by a resident who traveled abroad. According to Dallas County Health and Human Services, there have been 848 reported cases of the virus, as of Dec. 5.

“What’s good is that the number of new cases has really dropped considerably,” said Dr. Philip Huang, Dallas County health director.

Though cases of mpox virus are stabilizing, county data shows zip codes including 75219, 75204, and 75243 remain among the highest areas reporting dozens of mpox cases in Dallas County.

“It’s definitely something we still, you know, are very concerned about,” Huang stated.

That’s why The FreeLux Project and its partners are bringing the public together.

“This town hall is our opportunity to come together. To talk about the issues that are relevant to us. And create a larger message not the community about things that we need,” Holley said.

The mpox town hall will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11, at Marty’s Live, located at 4207 Maple Avenue in Dallas. RSVP at 411@FREELUXPROJECT.ORG.

For more information about mpox, vaccine, and testing sites click here.

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