There are two vaccine-preventable diseases of primary concern: hepatitis A and hepatitis B. A vaccine against the hepatitis A virus (HAV) is recommended primarily for high-risk groups. If you are a man who has sex with men (regardless of how you define your sexual orientation), you are in this category. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all men who are sexually active with other men be be immunized to prevent hepatitis B (HBV). Even if you do not identify as homosexual, which is often the case of transgender persons, immunization is critical.
If you are HIV-infected it's even more important as you are then especially at risk and can suffer complications from influenza. Health and human services professional tend to overlook this critical aspect of patient care and this often results in neglect. Therefore, until such time as we have educated the professionals, it's up to you to seek the proper care. You must take the initiative. This is especially important if you are a young person who is not accustomed to seeking out health care on a timely basis as you are then putting your health at risk for hepatitis A (HAV) and and hepatitis B (HBV).
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The information provided by Rainbow Access Initiative, Inc. is for educational purposes only and is not intended to render medical advice or professional services. The information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease and is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your healthcare provider.
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These materials were produced through a grant from the New York State Department of Health.
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