The pox spreads through close physical contact. Especially during sex. Believe it or not, that’s actually a relief. Because one possible alternative—the pox spreading through the air—is much, much more dangerous.

The World Health Organization recently confirmed the transmission methods driving the three-week-old outbreak in Europe, Australia, and the United States. “Based on currently available information, cases have mainly but not exclusively been identified amongst men who have sex with men seeking care in primary care and sexual health clinics,” the WHO stated last week.

That doesn’t mean monkeypox—a pathogen that is endemic in rodent and monkey populations in West and Central Africa and causes flu-like symptoms and a rash in people (and can be fatal in up to 10 percent of cases, depending on the precise strain)—is a sexually transmitted disease.

In fact, experts are clear that it’s not. Instead, it’s an opportunistic disease that prefers to jump from an infected person to an uninfected one via tiny cuts in the skin or the mucus membranes of the nose, mouth, and anus. “Any close contact will allow for spread,” Blossom Damania, a virologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told The Daily Beast.

So it should come as no surprise, then, that men having sex with other men is a significant factor in the pox’s spread. David Heymann, who formerly headed the WHO’s emergencies department, told The Associated Press that men attending raves in Spain and Belgium—and getting frisky with each other—“amplified” the outbreak.

“What’s happened is, it’s gotten into a population which is amplifying transmission because of behavior,” Heymann told The Daily Beast. Mateo Prochazka, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the U.K. Health and Security Agency, said he was worried that these discoveries would be misconstrued in a way that could be used to attack the gay community, of which he is a member.

“It does not mean that gay or bisexual men are doing anything inherently wrong, or that the virus has changed or that it’s sexually transmitted, it just means that this behaviour facilitates transmission in these networks,” he told PinkNews. “We wanted to make sure people understand that transmission is not exclusive to gay and bisexual men, it just happens that it has entered this network.”