New York City recommends meningitis vaccines for HIV-positive gay, bi men

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The New York City Health Department has issued a local advisory recommending that any man who is HIV positive and has had intimate contact with another man met through a website, digital phone app, at a bar or party since Sept. 1 should be vaccinated against invasive meningococcal disease.

The recommendation follows reports of a spike in meningitis cases in the past five weeks.

The city health department began making the vaccine available on Oct. 5 at medical facilities throughout the area for men who meet the criteria but who cannot obtain the vaccine from their care providers.

The outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease among HIV-positive men in New York City is not related to the outbreak of meningitis in several states that is caused by a contaminated medication.



Also, 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 two-10 days after exposure, but usually within five days, according to a news release.

People who are HIV-positive and who experience these symptoms should seek medical care immediately, the NYCHD said.

The New York sites for the vaccine include:

Bronx

  • Jacobi Medical Center
  • Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center

Brooklyn

  • Coney Island Hospital
  • Kings County Hospital Center
  • Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center

Manhattan

  • Bellevue Hospital Center
  • Harlem Hospital Center

Queens

  • Elmhurst Hospital Center
  • Queens Hospital Center