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December 13, 2012

Another Health Warning, This Time In NYC

The Bay Area Reporter reports that San Francisco public health officials are advising all gay men visiting New York City to be vaccinated for meningococcal meningitis. But when you continue reading the article it sounds like anybody visiting Brooklyn may be at risk, and anyone who's HIV-positive is at greater risk. But I'm no public health expert.

Ah, I see when I go to the source it's a little different from what the presss release says. SF Public Health is copying the recommendation issued by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene which is:

  • Meningococcal vaccine should be offered to HIV-infected men who are New York City residents and who report intimate contact with a man met either through an online website, digital application ("app"), or at a bar or party since September 1, 2012.
  • Meningococcal vaccine should now also be offered to men who have sex with men, regardless of HIV status, if they live in specific areas of Brooklyn and report intimate contact with a man met either through an online website, digital application ("app"), or at a bar or party since September 1, 2012.

Weird how specific public health warnings always seem to be. I think that one should probably not assume that just because you meet your guys at Starbucks (without benefit of an app) or airport restrooms that you are in the clear.

The "specific areas of Brooklyn" are "Bedford Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Downtown, Dumbo, East New York, Prospect Heights and Williamsburg."

And a bit of info about the vaccine:

Meningococcal vaccination is routinely recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for students entering middle school and high school, for college students living in dormitories, for military recruits, and for people with certain medical conditions like a damaged or missing spleen. It is also recommended for persons traveling to places with ongoing outbreaks of meningococcal disease, such as sub-Saharan Africa. Meningococcal vaccination is not routinely recommended for MSM or people with HIV except under particular circumstances, such as those currently prevailing in NYC.

A single injection usually does it, but people who are HIV-positive sometimes need a second one.

Filed under Health | permalink | December 13, 2012 at 07:07 AM

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