A sentiment and content analysis of tweets on monkeypox stigma among the LGBTQ+ community: A cue to risk communication plan

Viola Savy Dsouza, Priyobrat Rajkhowa, B Rashmi Mallya, D S Raksha, V Mrinalini, K Cauvery, Rohit Raj, Indu Toby, Sanjay Pattanshetty, Helmut Brand*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: The stigma associated with monkeypox (mpox) may prevent people from following recommended guidelines. Using a "model of stigma communication," this study maps and determines the mpox stigma on Twitter among LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and more) community.

METHODS: The tweets that contained the terms '#monkeypox', '#MPVS', '#stigma', and '#LGBTQ+' and were published between May 01, 2022 and Sept 07, 2022 were extracted. For sentiment analysis, the VADER, Text Blob, and Flair analysers were implemented. This study evaluated the dynamics of stigma communication based on the "model of stigma communication". A total of 70,832 tweets were extracted, from which 66,387 tweets were passed to the sentiment analyser and 3100 tweets were randomly selected for manual coding. Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) criteria was adopted to report this study .

FINDINGS: This research provided insight on the cause, communication, and patterns of mpox stigma in the LGBTQ+ community. In the community, stigmatisation was influenced by the group's labelling as the source of monkeypox. Some users believed that mpox resembled previously observed diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and COVID-19. Despite officials and media outlets disseminating information about preventing mpox and stigmatisation, a number of individuals failed to comply. The LGBTQ+ community faced peril in the form of violence due to escalating stigma. Misinformation and misinterpretation spread further stigmatisation.

INTERPRETATION: This study indicates that authorities must address misinformation, stigmatization of the LGBTQ+ community, and the absence of a comprehensive risk-communication plan to improve the system. The effects of stigmatization on the vulnerable population must be handled in conjunction with a well-developed risk communication plan, without jeopardizing their wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100095
JournalDialogues in Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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