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Meningococcal Vaccine Recommendation for Men Who Have Sex with Men

December 20, 2012

Meningococcal Vaccine Recommendations for Men Who Have Sex with Men

Meningococcal Disease is a severe infection caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis. It can cause meningococcal meningitis or meningococcemia (septic infection). Neisseria meningitidis is spread through contact with the saliva, nasal discharge, or other fluids from the nose or mouth of an infected person, or from persons who are not infected but harbor the bacteria in their nose. Close contact includes: kissing, sneezing or coughing on someone, living in a crowded space together (e.g. in a dormitory), sharing food, drinking from the same cup, eating with the same utensils, or sharing a cigarette or pipe.

Currently, New York City is reporting an increase in cases of meningococcal infections among men who have sex with men (MSM), many of whom live in particular neighborhoods.  Because MSM from the Bay Area may travel to these neighborhoods in NYC, we are providing information here.
Persons who wish to reduce their risk of meningococcal disease, including MSM, may choose to receive meningococcal vaccine, which can be safely administered to HIV-infected persons.
For more information, please see:
• New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (
• California Department of Public Health Clinician Advisory (download the CDPH news release here)
• CDC meningococcal disease information
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department Adult Immunization clinic offers vaccinations for meningococcal disease.  View our fee schedule here.

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