AHF Confirms Two More Meningitis Deaths, Offers Free Vaccines

rjay-spoonAt a press conference held yesterday afternoon, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation confirmed two meningitis-related deaths from December and announced that they will be offering free vaccines.

The two men were both 30 years old and died within a week of each other. They were:

  • Rjay Spoon (right), a 30 year-old gay man from Downtown Los Angeles, died of acute Neisseria Meningitis on December 16, 2012 in Los Angeles.
  • A 30 year-old San Diego State University student who lived in Chula Vista died of the same disease sometime on December 10, 2012

The AHF’s full press release:

In response to the confirmation of two additional deaths from bacterial meningitis in Southern California, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will host a PRESS TELECONFERENCE Tuesday April 16 at 3 pm Pacific Time to announce that it will offer free meningitis vaccines starting Monday, April 15th at its AHF Pharmacy locations in West Hollywood (8212 Santa Monica Blvd.) and Hollywood (6210 Sunset Blvd.) and its AHF Hollywood Men’s Wellness Center (1300 N. Vermont Ave, Suite 407, Los Angeles 90027) to anyone who thinks that they are at risk or have had exposure. The vaccine protocol involves one dose for HIV negative individuals, and one plus a booster at eight weeks for HIV positive people.

Concern about possible exposure to, and transmission of bacterial meningococcal infection in the Greater Los Angeles MSM population arose after a 33 year-old West Hollywood resident was diagnosed with the infection which rapidly escalated and has left him on life support shortly after he attended the White Party, an annual gathering of thousands of gay men in Palm Springs over the Easter Weekend. On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported, “Health officials said they believe the outbreak in New York is circulating among men who have sex with men and that this particular strain may have been transmitted through intimate encounters.

LOCATIONS for AHF’s FREE meningitis vaccinations:

  • AHF Pharmacy/West Hollywood
    8212 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA , 90046
    Phone: P: (323) 654-0907
    Hours: M-Sat 10am to 7pm, Sun
  • AHF Pharmacy/Sunset (Hollywood)
    6210 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA , 90028
    Phone: P: (323) 860-0173
    Hours: M-Sat 10am to 7pm, Sun
  • AHF Hollywood Men’s Wellness Center
    1300 N. Vermont Ave., Suite 407, Los Angeles, CA , 90027
    Phone: P: (866) 339-2525
    Hours: Mon-Wed-Thu-Fri, 5:30pm to 9:00pm – Saturday, 9:30am – 5:00pm



  • Michael Zimmerman, Program Manager, AHF Hollywood Men’s Wellness Program
  • (323) 436-8900 x 5819
  • AHF Main Switchboard (323) 860-5200

After a series of cases in New York City, the Health Department advised vaccinations “for men, regardless of HIV status, who regularly have intimate contact with other men met through a website, digital application (“App”), or at a bar or party.” If you think you are at risk, make sure to read this fact sheet. NYC residents interested in getting the vaccine can find locations here or here.