A successful approach to immunizing men who have sex with men against hepatitis B

Public Health Nurs. May-Jun 2000;17(3):202-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-1446.2000.00202.x.

Abstract

This paper reports the success of outreach efforts to immunize adults at high risk of acquiring hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Local health department testers recruited clients when they sought anonymous HIV testing. Interested clients were serologically tested for HBV infection. Susceptibles were offered a free hepatitis B vaccine. Of 189 clients who were tested, 161 (86%) were susceptible to HBV infection and 140 (74%) were men who have sex with men (MSM). Of the susceptibles, 82 (51%) started the hepatitis B vaccine series. Sixty-five (80%) received three doses of hepatitis B vaccine and an additional 10 (12%) received two doses. Completing the hepatitis B vaccine series was associated with being a MSM (odds ratio [OR] 8.8, confidence interval [CI] 1.5-56.0) and with not being an injection drug user (IDU) (OR 0.2, CI 0.02-1.0). One way to provide hepatitis B vaccine to MSM is to attach an immunization program to a successful anonymous HIV testing program. The feasibility of implementing such programs would increase if public vaccine policymakers made more federally purchased hepatitis B vaccine available for adults.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs* / standards
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexual Behavior

Substances

  • Hepatitis B Vaccines