The New York City department of health is advising HIV-positive men to get meningitis vaccines, after seeing a spike in cases over the past five weeks.
An advisory issued Thursday warns men who have hooked up with other men that they met through a dating app, a bar, or party since Sept. 1, be vaccinated for meningitis. The department said the outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease among HIV-positive men in New York City is not related to a separate outbreak related to contaminated medicine.
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 2-10 days after exposure, but usually within five days. People who are HIV-positive and who experience these symptoms should seek medical care immediately.
Vaccines can be obtained through their own HIV care provider, the department recommends. "If the medical provider does not have the vaccine, people should visit one of the HIV clinics in select New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation sites listed below. New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation clinics will waive their co-pay requirements for two months for people who have insurance," said the press advisory. For those without health insurance, HIVers can get meningitis vaccines at the following locations:
- Jacobi Medical Center
- Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center
- Coney Island Hospital
- Kings County Hospital Center
- Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center
- Bellevue Hospital Center
- Harlem Hospital Center
- Elmhurst Hospital Center
- Queens Hospital Center