Castro health center to hold forum on staph study
By Ashley Wright
January 23, 2008
The San Francisco AIDS Foundation's gay and bisexual men's health
center in the city's Castro District will hold a community forum
tonight to discuss a recent report on methicillin resistant Staphylococcus
aureus, known commonly as drug-resistant MRSA, according to officials.
Magnet, the men's health center on 18th St. near Castro Street,
will host the forum to discuss the study released Jan. 14 online
in the Annals of Internal Medicine that found a high prevalence
of MRSA among men who have sex with men in and around the Castro,
The study was conducted by researcher Binh Diep at the University
of California, San Francisco, and found that MRSA spread through
skin-to-skin contact and by touching MRSA contaminated surfaces,
The drug-resistant infection has been present in the general
population for 15 years, causing an estimated 19,000 deaths annually.
MRSA can cause abscesses and skin ulcers for healthy adults and
those who are HIV positive, according to officials. The infection
can be prevented from spreading by using good hygiene and not
sharing razors and towels.
The San Francisco AIDS Foundation will host tonight's event to
offer community members a panel of experts to speak about the
study and its implications, including the co-author of the study
and Magnet's medical director, according to officials.
"The recent study offers little that is new, but has engendered
fear among the local community, and, perhaps even additional homophobia.
Magnet will provide everyone an opportunity to understand the
facts about MRSA and to discuss this report," foundation
Deputy Executive Director and San Francisco Health Commissioner
Steven Tierney said.
The forum tonight is open to anyone and will begin at 7 p.m.
at Magnet, located at 4122 18th St., near Castro Street in San
Francisco, officials reported.
A follow-up community forum will be held Jan. 30 at the San Francisco
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center at 1800 Market
St. from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.