Hepatitis B and C virus sexual transmission among homosexual men

Am J Gastroenterol. 1998 Jan;93(1):49-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.1998.049_c.x.


Objective: We estimated hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) sexual transmission among homosexual men.

Methods: Two hundred twenty-eight homosexually active men attending two clinical centers and presenting no risk factors except for sexual exposure were interviewed, and a blood sample was drawn. HBV marker test was performed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and radioimmunoassay, and HCV was tested using ELISA-2 and recombinant immunoblot assay-2.

Results: HBV and HCV infection prevalence rates were 34.4% and 12.7%, respectively. Using logistic regression analysis including sexual exposure and controlling for confounders, we found that anal receptive intercourse (odds ratio [OR] = 4.01; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.34-11.94), duration of homosexuality (OR = 3.43; 95% CI = 1.29-9.12), insertive anilingus (OR = 2.02; 95% CI = 1.06-3.87), and sexually transmitted diseases (OR = 1.87; 95% CI = 1.00-3.47) were independently associated with the risk of HBV sexual transmission. We did not find any association between sexual behavior and HCV transmission.

Conclusions: Sexual behavior is a plausible explanatory factor of HBV sexual transmission among homosexual men. Further evidence is needed to elucidate the occurrence and the efficiency of HCV sexual transmission in the absence of other risk factors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Hepatitis B / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis B / transmission*
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C / transmission*
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies / blood
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior


  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies