Recent LA County data shows more cases than usual of meningococcal disease among men who have sex with men. Meningococcal disease is caused by a type of bacteria known as Neisseria meningitidis. The illness most people are familiar with is meningococcal meningitis, which people often call meningitis. See below to learn more about the disease and what you can do to protect yourself.
Men who have Sex with Men
What You Should Know about Meningococcal Disease
- What is meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is caused by a type of bacteria known as Neisseria meningitidis. The illness most people are familiar with is meningococcal meningitis, which people often call meningitis.
Meningococcal disease is rare, but serious. It spreads through saliva (spit). It can lead to serious medical problems, including death.
- How can you avoid meningococcal disease?
- Vaccine is the best way to prevent this disease.
- Limit activities that spread saliva.
- Don’t share drinks, utensils, food, or toothbrushes.
- Don’t share things you smoke, like cigarettes,
e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah.
- Don’t have multiple kissing partners.
- What are the symptoms of meningococcal disease?
It can start with flu-like symptoms. These may include high fever, headache, stiff neck,
nausea, vomiting, confusion, sensitivity to light, and rash.
- Who should get the meningococcal vaccine?
- Men who have sex with men and are HIV-positive.
- Men who have sex with men who have close contact with multiple partners.
- Where can you get more information about meningococcal disease
and the vaccine?
- Contact your doctor or health care provider.
- Dial 2-1-1 for referrals to clinics or local health centers.
- Visit the LA County Department of Public Health website at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.
- Where can you get a meningococcal vaccine?
|Where can you get it?
|Your personal doctor or health care provider
||Please go to your regular doctor if you…
We recommend that health plans cover meningococcal vaccines for their members
- Have health insurance
- Are an HIV-positive Ryan White Program eligible individual
||Meningococcal vaccines are offered at some pharmacies.
Call your pharmacy to check…
Pharmacies that may offer vaccinations are posted at
- Whether they have the vaccine
- What time they open and close
- Who can get the vaccine
- How much it costs
|Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) clinics
||MSM who don’t have health insurance may call their local DHS clinic to see if they qualify for services and if the vaccine is available. Dial 2-1-1 for referrals to DHS clinics or visit
|Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) clinics
||DPH is holding free vaccine clinics for the identified MSM groups. Clinic dates, times, and locations are posted at
Meningococcal disease information
Meningococcal vaccine information
CDC Website: Meningococcal Disease
Website: Meningococcal Disease