BRONX (PIX11) — Bronx residents gathered on Monday to get their monkeypox questions answered at a community town hall.

There are now more than 2,300 cases citywide. Roughly 15 percent of the cases are in the Bronx.

Bronx residents had many questions at a public forum Monday night at the New Settlement Community Center. Advocates and health officials did their best to give them answers. 

Organized by the Bronx borough president’s office, the event also addressed issues of vaccine equity and how getting the shot has been more difficult for Black and brown communities.

Sage Rivera is founder and executive of leading LGBTQ advocacy group Destination Tomorrow.

“Us being the LGBTQ center of the Bronx a lot of the people we serve are black and brown people that live uptown and unfortunately, when the vaccine first became available it was available downtown,” said Rivera. 

While the virus has disproportionately affected the LGBTQ+ community, advocates say it’s been an unfair stigma attached to gay men because anyone can contract monkeypox. The virus is transmitted through prolonged skin on skin contact with an infected individual.

Grace Detrevarah is an advocate and health educator with Osborne Association, a social services organization. 

“The message I believe that should be sent is that this is a disease that can affect everyone and does,” said Detrevarah.

There were also questions about transmission and if you can contract it from an asymptomatic person or say in close quarters like on the subway. 

Dr. Madhuray Ray is director of Data and Analytics for Childcare, New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. Dr. Ray was a speaker at the town hall and answered questions.

“At the moment, sexual transmission is the biggest driver. That’s where we’re seeing new cases come out now,” said Ray.