Correlates of hepatitis B vaccination in a high-risk population: an Internet sample

Am J Med. 2001 Jun 1;110(8):628-32. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9343(01)00706-9.


Purpose: We sought to identify factors associated with hepatitis B virus vaccination, including knowledge and attitudes about hepatitis vaccination, and sexual and nonsexual risk behaviors among at-risk homosexual and bisexual men.

Subjects and methods: Internet electronic communications were used to collect data from homosexual and bisexual men from the United States, using a 31-item online questionnaire accessible for 1 month.

Results: The mean (+/- SD) age of the 336 respondents was 38 +/- 11 years. Nearly 42% (142) reported at least one dose of vaccine; the remainder were completely unvaccinated. About 21% (n = 71) reported having no information about hepatitis. Approximately 72% (242) of respondents reported never using condoms during oral intercourse, and 26% (n = 87) reported using condoms during less than half of their episodes of anal intercourse. In multivariate analysis, variables associated with vaccination were younger age (odds ratio [OR] 0.7 per 10-year increase in age; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.59 to 0.84, P = 0.002), high level of knowledge about the vaccine (OR 1.4; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.83, P = 0.007), communication with a health-care provider about hepatitis (OR 1.98; 95% CI 1.31 to 2.98, P = 0.006), and professional training that included hepatitis education (OR 2.77; 95% CI 1.7 to 4.5, P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Our findings underscore the need for health care providers to emphasize vaccine efficacy and safety, and to encourage high-risk patients to receive vaccination, particularly among men at high risk based on sexual and drug use behaviors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bisexuality*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control*
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vaccination*