"Garner, 39, died early Monday at a Houston hospital, said Mark Roy, a spokesman for Lambda Legal in New York City. Garner had been suffering from meningitis and had been in his brother's care for the past six months.
"Over the last few months, he lost the use of his legs from meningitis," Roy told The Associated Press. "
The differential diagnosis would be viral (ie HIV), TB or Fungal.
I read "died Monday of meningitis," didn't see it was long duration.