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Health group offers free meningitis vaccines

Posted: April 14, 2013 6:25 p.m.
Updated: April 14, 2013 6:24 p.m.
 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles health organization founded to fight AIDS is moving to take on meningitis after the death of a West Hollywood man.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation said Sunday it will offer free vaccines for bacterial meningitis starting Monday. The vaccines will be offered at clinics in West Hollywood and Los Angeles.

Family members said 33-year-old attorney Brett Shaad died Saturday night after being hospitalized with meningitis.

Shaad's case brought warnings from West Hollywood officials to sexually active gay men to beware of the threat.

A strain of the illness circulated among gay men in New York and infected 22 people, killing seven, since 2010. Testing is underway to find whether this strain is similar.

The bacteria can be spread through close and prolonged contact, but not casual contact.

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