Main | Friday, September 28, 2012

New York City Orders 10,000 Meningitis Vaccine Doses For Gay Men

The New York City Health Department has ordered 10,000 doses of the meningitis vaccine as we learn that there have been more than the four cases reported yesterday. Duncan Osborne reports at Gay City News:
While a September 27 alert from New York City’s health department warned of a cluster of four cases of “invasive meningococcal disease” that occurred among the city’s gay and bisexual men in the past four weeks, there have been 12 cases altogether since August of 2010 and four of those men have died. Among the 12 cases, one occurred in 2010, three occurred in 2011, and eight occurred this year, according to a separate alert that was distributed to health care providers on September 27. The men ranged in age from 21 to 59, and eight were HIV-positive. “Eight of the 12 cases were known to be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus,” read the health care provider alert. “Five reported using cocaine and/ or crystal methamphetamine. Four reported using Internet sites to meet men for sex. Three cases, however, were not known to be HIV-infected, did not report using drugs, and did not report using Internet sites to meet men for sex.”
Osborne notes that the city will launch a campaign to encourage HIV+ men to get the vaccine, but no date for its availability has yet been named. HIV+ men with private insurance should discuss their risk factors with their doctors.

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