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Should you get the meningococcal vaccine?

SAN DIEGO -- Although there are zero cases of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) in San Diego County, local health officials are putting out the word about the potential benefits of getting vaccinated especially if you plan to attend White Party Palm Springs or visit Los Angeles or New York City where a number of IMD-related deaths have occurred.

Meningococcal vaccine should ideally be administered at least two weeks before travel. White Party Palm Springs is scheduled from April 25 through April 28.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

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Presentation on PrEP set for Monday at The Center in Hillcrest

SAN DIEGO -- PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) - the once-a-day pill used to help prevent HIV infection - will be the topic of discussion at a special presentation hosted by the UC San Diego AntiViral Research Center (AVRC) on Monday, April 14 at 6 pm.

The presentation will answer questions such as what PrEP is, how it works, and how people can access it.

The free "PrEP Talk" will be led by HIV specialist physicians from UC San Diego who will talk about HIV risk, HIV testing, and PrEP. Participants will learn the difference between the various HIV tests and when they should get tested.

A new gay epidemic — and what you can do to end it

The new gay epidemic is an old one. It's killing your gay friends and family, and it's totally preventable. No, it's not what you may be thinking. It's not HIV/AIDS. I'm talking about smoking.

Last week was LGBT Health Awareness Week, so this is good time to bring up a LGBT health crisis that many ignore or minimize.

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Look Better Naked: Dangers of third-hand smoke

We have all heard the dangers of secondhand smoke, but what about third-hand smoke? Third-hand smoke is the invisible remains of cigarette smoke that deposits on carpeting, clothing, furniture and other surfaces. This has become recognized as a contributor to indoor pollution.

E-cigarettes: Friend or foe for the LGBT community?

Working in tobacco control sometimes elicits interesting reactions from people. Some try to hide their smoking. While I certainly appreciate not being near the smoke itself, I've got great empathy for smokers. In fact, since most smokers have already tried to quit, they're much more likely to be fellow fighters against tobacco than non-smokers. Sometimes they ask me how to best quit and I'm happy to tell them (hint, call 1-800-QUITNOW).

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Meningococcal vaccine recommended in LA for men who have sex with men

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) issued new recommendations today for vaccinating against invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) after a recently-identified increase in cases.

Public Health has now confirmed a total of eight IMD cases in Los Angeles County in 2014. Of these eight cases, four cases were reported among men who have sex with men (MSM), including three men who were HIV-positive.

Toni Atkins, Ron Roberts hosting Affordable Care Act resource fair

SAN DIEGO -- With the deadline to enroll in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act just days away, a bipartisan group of elected officials and community leaders will host a resource fair on Saturday, March 29 to help San Diegans get covered.

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Observing LGBT Health Awareness Week

(Editor's note: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released the following statement on Wednesday.)

LGBT Health Awareness Week is an important time to bring attention to the unique health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans and to highlight the progress we’ve made in our work to ensure LGBT Americans have the same rights and protections as other Americans, especially through implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

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Dr. Jill Biden meets with LGTB Americans regarding Obamacare

WASHINGTON -- An important deadline is coming up for all Americans, including the LGBT community: March 31 is the end of the open enrollment period for individuals to sign up for health care in the state and federal Marketplaces. If you miss the deadline, you may not be able to get health insurance again until next year.

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Gay barebacking study reveals surprise facts about men and unprotected sex

A new study by England's University of Westminster found what appears to be a disturbing uptick in the number of young gay men who find unprotected sex with a stranger "exciting."

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