Meningitis Vaccination, Knowledge, and Awareness Among YMSM in Chicago

Phillips, G., 2nd; Johnson, A. K.; Adames, C. N.; Mustanski, B.

Health Educ Behav. 2018 Jan 13; 45(4):607-615


Serogroup C invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) outbreaks in men who have sex with men (MSM) have been occurring with greater frequency in urban areas across the United States. An effective vaccine for IMD is available and is recommended for MSM in outbreak settings. Particular subgroups of MSM have been disproportionately represented in outbreaks, specifically young, Black, and HIV-positive MSM. As little is known about the knowledge, awareness, and vaccination status of young MSM, we sought to describe this and explore racial/ethnic differences. Data were collected from an established cohort study-RADAR-of 16- to 29-year-old MSM recruited through previous cohort studies and/or by being a partner or peer of a current study member. A total of 486 young MSM (YMSM) responded to 13 IMD-related questions. Approximately half of the sample correctly identified how IMD is spread and 58.6% accurately responded that vaccination was the best prevention method; however, more than 60% of participants felt they were at no risk of getting meningitis and only 49% self-reported vaccination. Additionally, White YMSM were significantly more likely to be vaccinated and to have accurate knowledge and risk perception of IMD compared with Black YMSM. Findings have important implications for disease control, outbreak management, and intervention development.

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