Main | Friday, October 05, 2012

New York City Begins Meningitis Vaccinations For High-Risk HIV+ Men

Today the New York City Department of Health began offering free meningitis vaccinations to high-risk HIV+ men at nine locations across the five boroughs.
The Department is advising vaccinations for any man who is HIV positive and has had intimate contact with another man that he met through a website, digital application (“App”), or at a bar or party since September 1, 2012. Vaccine will be available starting Friday at medical facilities throughout the city for men who meet these criteria but who cannot obtain it from their HIV care providers. The outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease among HIV-positive men in New York City is completely unrelated to the outbreak of meningitis in several states that is caused by a contaminated medication. Vaccination prevents but does not treat current infection. Common symptoms of meningitis are high fever, headache, stiff neck, and rash that develop rapidly upon onset. Symptoms may occur 2 to 10 days after exposure, but usually within 5 days. People who are HIV-positive and who experience these symptoms should seek medical care immediately.
There have been four deaths since this spate of cases began. We applaud the New York City government for their rapid response.

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