Sexual transmission of hepatitis A in homosexual men: incidence and mechanism

N Engl J Med. 1980 Feb 21;302(8):435-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198002213020804.


We performed monthly examinations and serologic tests for antibody to hepatitis virus A (anti-HA) in a study of 57 heterosexual men and 102 homosexual men followed prospectively for a mean of 8.9 months and 6.1 months, respectively. The initial prevalence of anti-HA was 30 per cent in homosexual men and 12 per cent in heterosexual men P less than 0.01). The annual incidence of hepatitis A in susceptible (seronegative) homosexual men was 22 per cent, whereas no heterosexual men acquired hepatitis A. Diaries concerning sexual behavior kept by homosexual men showed that the acquisition of hepatitis A virus infection contact. Hepatitis A should be considered one of the enteric infections that appear to be sexually transmitted among homosexual men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Hepatitis A / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis A / transmission*
  • Hepatovirus / immunology
  • Homosexuality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Washington


  • Antibodies, Viral