Summer 2022 Health Tips for Gay and Bi Men
Summer is a time for fun, relaxation, and spending time with friends and family. This summer, however, in addition to ongoing COVID-19 transmission across the country among all populations; early data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of new monkeypox and meningococcal disease cases. As you prepare to celebrate Pride and attend other celebrations, here are a few tips to keep you healthy:
You may have heard of a rare disease called monkeypox. Many people affected in the current global outbreaks identify as gay or bisexual. Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact. If you have a new or unexplained rash or sores, see a healthcare provider and avoid sex or close, intimate contact until you have been checked out.
Learn more at www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox.
There is an outbreak of meningococcal disease, primarily among gay and bi men in Florida. This can show up as fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea/vomiting, or dark purple rash, among other symptoms. Right now, the outbreak is in Florida. If you live or travel there, be aware of the symptoms and see a healthcare provider right away if you feel sick. If you live in Florida, get vaccinated. If you’re traveling to Florida, talk to your healthcare provider about getting vaccinated as well.
For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/meningococcal.
HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs, sometimes called STDs), are always something sexually active gay and bi men need to be aware of. Remember, most STIs have no signs or symptoms. The only way to know your HIV or STI status is to get tested.
To find a testing site for HIV, STIs and viral hepatitis, visit gettested.cdc.gov.
COVID-19 cases are still high in some places, and you are more likely to get COVID than anything else right now. Get vaccinated and stay up to date on your vaccines. Wear a well-fitting mask any time you’d like to, but especially if you are in an area with high community levels of COVID-19, you are in a crowded indoor area, or you want to protect someone who is at high risk for getting very sick.
Learn more: How to Protect Yourself & Others
For in-person summer events, health departments, community based organizations, event organizers, and others can print and distribute this card to help gay and bisexual men get information on how to stay healthy and safe this summer.