Objectives: This study determined the prevalence and factors associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among men who have sex with men.
Methods: At the baseline visit of an HIV study among men who have sex with men, we asked about HBV vaccination status and tested for HBV markers.
Results: Of 625 subjects, 48% had received at least 1 dose of HBV vaccine. Of 328 unvaccinated men, 41% had 1 or more HBV markers. HBV prevalence increased markedly with age and was associated with many sexual and drug-related behaviors. In a multivariate model, 7 variables were independently associated with HBV infection: ulcerative sexually transmitted diseases (odds ratio [OR] = 10.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.6, 54); injection drug use (OR = 5.2; 95% CI = 1.2, 26); gonorrhea or chlamydia (OR = 4.0; 95% CI = 1.9, 8.9); sexual partner with HIV/AIDS (OR = 3.6; 95% CI = 1.8, 7.1); 50 or more casual partners (OR = 3.4; 95% CI = 1.6, 7.1); received money for sex (OR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.2, 7.8); and 20 or more regular partners (OR = 2.5; 95% CI = 1.1, 6.1).
Conclusions: In Montreal, men who have sex with men are at risk for HBV infection, but a substantial proportion remain unvaccinated; new strategies are required to improve coverage. Men who have sex with men and who have a sexually transmitted infection, especially a genito-ulcerative infection, appear to be at particularly high risk for HBV infection.