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Los Angeles Public Health Advises Meningitis Vaccination After Four Gay Men Report Cases

The Los Angeles Public Health Department released new recommendations on Wednesday encouraging men who have sex with men (MSM) to get vaccinated for invasive meningococcal disease (IMD).

This comes after a reported four new cases of the disease amongst MSM in 2014.

From the LA Public Health Department

Public Health has now confirmed a total of eight IMD cases in Los Angeles County in 2014. Of these eight cases, four cases were reported among men who have sex with men (MSM), including three men who were HIV-positive. 

 
In contrast to previous IMD investigations in 2012 and 2013, some commonalities were found among the 2014 MSM cases. Of the four IMD cases among MSM, three reported either residence in, or socializing around, the West Hollywood and North Hollywood areas, and three 
were between 27-28 years of age (the fourth case was 50 years of age). 
 
Based on consultation with the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health is recommending the Meningococcal vaccine for both HIV-positive MSM (including men who may or may not identify as gay or bisexual) and MSM, regardless of HIV status, whose activities put them at higher risk. 
 
“All HIV-positive MSM and all MSM, regardless of HIV status, who regularly have close or intimate contact with multiple partners, or who seek partners through the use of digital applications, particularly those who share cigarettes, marijuana or use illegal drugs, should visit 
their health provider to be vaccinated against invasive meningococcal disease,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. “At-risk MSM who don’t have health insurance can obtain a free vaccination through the Department of Public Health.”

Regarding where you can get vaccinated, Public Health writes:

Public Health will be offering free meningococcal vaccine to LA County residents without health insurance, beginning Thursday, April 3. For a listing of clinics, please call the LA County Information Line at 2-1-1 from any cell phone or land line in the county or visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/

 Keep yourselves healthy, Instincters!