(HealthDay News) – In New York City, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) are at increased risk of contracting invasive meningococcal disease (IMD), according to a study published online Oct. 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Laura Miller, MPH, from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and colleagues estimated the risk of IMD and death in PLWHA using IMD surveillance data from 2000–2011. Data from 263 reported cases (aged 15–64) were matched to death and HIV registries to calculate IMD risk and case fatalities. Age-matched, case-control analyses were conducted using a subset of PLWHA who had a CD4+ count and viral load measurement near the time of their IMD infection.

The researchers identified 55 deaths among the 263 cases of IMD. The average annual incidence rate of IMD was 0.39 per 100,000, and the relative risk of IMD in PLWHA was 10 in the study period. Compared with age-matched controls, PLWHA with IMD were 5.3 times as likely to have CD4+ counts < 200 x 109 cells/L.

“Cost effectiveness and vaccine efficacy studies are needed in order to evaluate the value of a national recommendation for routine meningococcal vaccination of PLWHA,” the authors write.

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