Monday, October 21, 2013

Signing This Might Save Your Life

BiNet USA President Faith Cheltenham's 1-year-old son Storm waves a flag honoring bisexuals for a recent LA Times story on the bi community.  (Barbara Davidson, Los Angeles Times)
John Becker, manager editor of Bilerico, has a petition up asking the CDC to make available the bacterial meningitis vaccine to infants and children.  John has written up a powerful charge for our community to take action immediately.

He writes on,

...bacterial meningitis - the swelling of the lining around the brain and the spinal cord - is a lethal disease. The symptoms come on fast but appear very ordinary; in fact, they so closely resemble the flu that many victims don't bother to see a doctor. This can have deadly consequences...To make matters worse, it can be spread through casual contact, including kissing, sneezing, coughing, and sharing items like utensils, drinking glasses, and even cigarettes. Because of this, tight-knit communities like the LGBT community are at greater risk for an outbreak, as are groups of people who live and interact in close quarters.
As bisexuals, we depend on our community to survive (and thrive) past the frequent biphobia and homophobia we experience. Bacterial meningitis is a threat to our safety, our community and our kids. 

John also writes,
One of the most glaring gaps in our defense against bacterial meningitis is the fact that current CDC vaccine recommendations leave infants and children - the group with the highest infection rate for invasive meningococcal disease - dangerously unprotected...It also decreases the herd immunity that people with compromised immune systems, including those with HIV and AIDS, rely on to protect them from the disease.
 John tells me the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet to decide whether to recommend the bacterial meningitis vaccine to infants and children THIS WEEKSo step up and save help to save someone's life...might just be your own.

Thanks for sharing this message with a friend,

Faith Cheltenham, BiNet USA President