LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In response to reports of a new cluster of viral meningitis cases found among Los Angeles area gay men and men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM), Los Angeles County Public Health Department officials are expected to release an official statement later today in which they will recommend that HIV-positive MSM and high-risk HIV-negative MSM be vaccinated against the infection.
“We—like the public-at-large—are anxiously waiting for details on these latest meningitis cases found among Los Angeles area gay men,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “AIDS Healthcare Foundation is ready to respond immediately to this heath issue, and we hope and trust that Los Angeles County will include the community as essential partners in this effort. You cannot mount an effective defense against meningitis without full community participation.”
Current information available is that a ‘cluster’ of cases of viral meningitis has been documented among Los Angeles area men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM).
Previous L.A. Area Meningitis Cases among MSM
Last year in April 2013, Southern California men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) were hit by a similar cluster of cases of the more deadly strain of bacterial meningitis, which killed two Los Angeles gay men and a San Diego student:
- Brett Shaad, a 33 year-old West Hollywood resident, died on April 13, 2013.
- Rjay Spoon, a 30 year-old gay man from Downtown Los Angeles, died of acute Neisseria Meningitis on December 16, 2012 in Los Angeles.
- A 30 year-old San Diego State University student who lived in Chula Vista died of the same disease on December 10, 2012.
At the time, bacterial meningitis was also responsible for as many as seven MSM deaths in the New York City area. In response to the Los Angeles cases in 2013, AHF mounted an aggressive meningitis vaccination program and provided 3,357 free vaccinations between April 15th and April 22nd, 2013. AHF officials also pressed L.A. County public health official to step up its response to the cluster.
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 300,000 individuals in 30 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.