For the past month, a couple of patients a day have sat across from Dr. Alberto Mendoza at the H.I.V. clinic where he works in Lima, Peru, to hear him confirm what they had feared: They have monkeypox. The men are tormented by the painful lesions the virus causes. They’re also afraid, because the visible sores mark them as men who have sex with men, a dangerous identity in Peru, where there is intense discrimination against homosexuality.
But Dr. Mendoza, an infectious disease specialist, has little to offer. “I have no options,” he said in an interview. Neither the antiviral drug nor the vaccine being used against monkeypox in the United States and Europe is available in Peru.
“We have nothing, even though we are the country with one of the highest numbers of cases by population,” said Dr. Mendoza, who works with the medical charity Partners in Health.