With a deadly outbreak of meningitis currently hitting HIV-positive men in New York City, the Health Department is trying keep things under control. To that end today they announced that not only are they recommending that sexually active HIV-positive men get vaccinated for the disease—it is also offering free vaccinations to those who can't afford them.

According to the DOH, it is "advising vaccinations for any man who is HIV positive and has had intimate contact with another man that he met through a website, digital application (“App”), or at a bar or party since September 1, 2012." If your doctor does not have access to the vaccine, it will be made available at the many HIV clinics in select New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation sites.

Of course, vaccination does not treat a current infection. Common symptoms of meningitis are high fever, headache, stiff neck, and rash that develops rapidly. Symptoms may occur two to 10 days after exposure, but usually within five days. People who are HIV-positive and who experience these symptoms should seek medical care immediately.

Meanwhile, the DOH also wants everyone to be aware that the current "outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease among HIV-positive men in New York City is completely unrelated to the outbreak of meningitis in several states that is caused by a contaminated medication." Oy.