Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Two more Southern California gay men have died from bacterial meningitis. The deaths follow the death a West Hollywood man who died last week.
Brett Shaad, 33, a West Hollywood attorney died Saturday night. Officials in West Hollywood quickly alerted the gay community to highly contagious and sometimes deadly infection.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced the of Rjay Spoon, 30, of downtown Los Angeles died on Dec. 16; and an unidentified 30-year-old San Diego State University student who lived in Chula Vista died on Dec. 10.
Adding to the fear of a potential outbreak is the fact that Shaad attended the White Party in Palm Springs, a dance party attracting thousands of gay men March 29 to April 1, the foundation said.
Casey Hayden, who was Rjay Spoon’s partner, said he woke up one night to find Spoon vomiting. Spoon’s symptoms puzzled doctors until it was too late, he said.
Hayden told reporters Tuesday:
“We went to the hospital and the first thing they said it was was a drug overdose. Then they said it was extremely advanced HIV, which was not the case. He was negative.”
The recent bacterial meningitis deaths in Southern California follow the deaths of at least seven New York City gay men who died from bacterial meningitis.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is offering free meningitis vaccines on Tuesday.
Bacterial meningitis is a preventable disease. There is no reason to die from this disease. The vaccine carries no live bacteria.