Tuesday, January 22, 2008

MRSA - Let's take care of ourselves & each other

[this smart bulletin on MRSA comes to us courtesy of Sexual Health Xchange (SHX) partner Gay Men's Health Crisis.]

[You can click the image to enlarge. But here is the full text.]

A drug resistant bacteria MRSA*, which is a skin infection occurring in persons of all genders, ages, races and sexual orientations, has been found among gay men (MSM) in NYC, San Francisco and Boston.

It is preventable. It is treatable.
Let's take care of ourselves & each other.

MRSA is typically transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, which occurs during a variety of activities, including sex. While not limited to gay men, gay men with multiple partners, meth users and those with compromised immune systems seem to be at higher risk of infection. You can protect yourself and your partner(s).

Standard precautions to prevent the spread of staph or MRSA skin infections include:

* Maintain good personal hygiene — Clean your hands and body with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
* Wash up after sex as soon as you are able
* Do not share personal items such as towels, washcloths, razors, pipes, straws, etc.
* Check your skin for reddened areas, pimples or boils causing pus, swelling or pain
* Cover any wounds with dry clean bandages
* Avoid direct contact with the skin of anyone with a skin infection
* Talk to your doctor if you think you have a skin infection.

For more information, please call GMHC Hotline at 800.243.7692.

*MRSA — methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus

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