Meningococcal vaccine urged for HIV men

Jan. 4, 2013 at 11:23 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- New York City health officials recommend the meningococcal vaccine to HIV-infected male city residents who have had intimate contact with any man met online.

Officials with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said the meningococcal vaccine recommendation also applies to men having sex with men they met through use of a smartphone application, or at a bar or party since Sept. 1.

On Sept. 27, city heath officials alerted healthcare providers and the public about 12 cases of invasive serogroup C Neisseria meningitidis disease occurring in the city since August 2010 among men who have sex with men.

Cases were identified via existing mandatory notifiable disease reporting. By Dec. 31, a total of 18 cases had been identified among gays. For 2012, the incidence rate of invasive meningococcal disease among men having sex with men ages 18-64 was 12.6 per 100,000 persons, compared with 0.16 among non-men having sex with men the same ages.

All 18 patients were hospitalized and five died. The age range among patients was 21-59 -- median age 32 years -- nine in Brooklyn, four in Manhattan, two in the Bronx, two in Queens and one was homeless. Nine were black, and four were Hispanic, the report said.

Ten were infected with human immunodeficiency virus, including eight of 12 cases reported last year. At least seven patients had met multiple sexual partners online.

On Nov. 29, the Health Department expanded its recommendation to HIV-uninfected men with the same high-risk behaviors who reside in areas of Brooklyn where recent cases have clustered.

The findings were published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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