Sexual Transmission of Viral Hepatitis

Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2023 Jun;37(2):335-349. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2023.02.010.


Ongoing sexual transmission presents a significant barrier to viral hepatitis control. Endemic transmission of hepatitis A virus continues through communities of men with male sex partners, despite vaccine availability. Increased incidence of hepatitis B virus from 2014-2018 prompted expanded vaccination guidelines, but uptake and physician awareness remain poor. Hepatitis C virus while strongly associated with injection drug use, is also transmitted by high-risk sexual contact. Despite universal screening recommendations and curative treatment, incidence continues to increase. Even with safe and highly effective vaccinations or treatments, sexual transmission of viral hepatitides must be addressed to achieve disease elimination.

Keywords: Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; Hepatitis D; Prevention; Sexual transmission; Viral hepatitis elimination.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Hepacivirus
  • Hepatitis B* / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis B* / prevention & control
  • Hepatitis C* / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C* / prevention & control
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human* / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior