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Be a Health Expert

No one knows your body like you, but to be an expert takes asking the right questions and learning the facts.

Your community needs you to be an expert today! Our friends at the health department have discovered an outbreak of Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD) in Chicago among men who look and love like us. This is a serious disease that can be fatal in some cases, but we can get ahead of it!

There is a safe, effective vaccine available to any and all who want it! At many places its free and fast.

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Learn the facts and share the word. Tell 10 men today how getting vaccinated helps us all stay healthy #brotherskeeper

Learn the Facts, Share the Facts

THE BASICS
What is Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD)?
IMD is a rare but severe bacterial infection that can result in a number of serious illnesses including meningitis. It can be extremely serious and even deadly.

What are the symptoms?
Fever, headache, and a stiff neck. Maybe nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and confusion. If you are experiencing these symptoms please see a medical provider immediately.

How long will it take after contact to see symptoms?
Normally, it takes about 2-10 days to see symptoms after infection. Some people will not have any symptoms.

What should I do if I’m feeling these symptoms?
If you or your partner is experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

How is IMD spread?
IMD is primarily spread through intimate activities such as kissing and sexual contact or sharing drinks or cigarettes, smoking devices or marijuana. Partners, roommates or anyone in direct contact with a patient’s saliva or spit (including sexual partners) would be considered at increased risk, but generally casual contact is not enough to transmit IMD.

VACCINATION
Who should get vaccinated?
All men in our community, but especially those of us whose immune systems are compromised (e.g. HIV positive) and/or enjoy the company of strangers (e.g. through hook up apps).

  • Sexually active gay, bisexual, and same gender loving men with HIV
  • Gay, bisexual, and same gender loving men who have sexual contact with “anonymous” partners
  • Men who have used online hook up apps to identify male sexual partners in Chicago

Does having HIV put me at greater risk for IMD?
People living with HIV are at a greater risk than the general population of acquiring the infection that causes invasive meningococcal disease. Approximately 20% of HIV positive people who develop the disease die of it.

Is there a vaccine?
Yes.

How many doses of vaccine are needed?
If you’re HIV negative, one dose of the vaccine is recommended. If you’re HIV positive, two doses of the vaccine are needed (separated by 8 weeks).

Adapted from Chicago Department of Public Health “Get the Facts: Invasive Meningococcal Disease” Fact Sheet

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