Men Who Have Sex with Men and Viral Hepatitis

Rear view of gay men standing arms around while looking through window at home

Men who have sex with men should be tested for hepatitis B and vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B.

Because men who have sex with men (MSM) have a high prevalence of hepatitis B, CDC recommends hepatitis B testing for MSM. However, hepatitis B testing is not a requirement for vaccination.

CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccination for men who have sex with men (MSM). The hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines can be given separately or as a combination vaccine using a recommended schedule. Adult vaccination rates are low and many men remain at risk for hepatitis A and hepatitis B.

CDC also recommends one-time hepatitis C testing of all adults (18 years and older) and regular testing for people with risk factors.

MSM and Hepatitis A

Despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine, Hepatitis A outbreaks among MSM have been reported frequently. Widespread outbreaks of hepatitis A are occurring across the U.S. and many are affecting gay and bisexual men. Since 1996, ACIP has recommended hepatitis A vaccination of MSM. Despite this longstanding recommendation, hepatitis A vaccination coverage among this population remains low, with vaccination coverage estimated at 25%–45% overall.

MSM and Hepatitis B

The hepatitis B vaccine is safe and effective, and both ACIP and CDC recommend routine hepatitis B vaccination for MSM. CDC also recommends hepatitis B testing for MSM because of the high prevalence of hepatitis B in this population and the population’s ongoing risk for infection. Hepatitis B testing for MSM is recommended as a component of prevaccination testing for these adults and consists of testing for HBsAg, anti-HBs, and anti-HBc. However, serologic testing should not be a barrier to vaccination of susceptible persons, especially in populations that are difficult to access. The first dose of hepatitis B vaccine should be administered during the same medical visit immediately after blood is collected for serologic testing. Hepatitis B testing of MSM is not a requirement for vaccination, and in settings where testing is not feasible, vaccination should continue without testing.

Resources for Gay & Bisexual Men

Posters

Download these posters and localize with information on hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccination services offered by your organization.

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Poster available in two sizes

8 x 11.5pdf icon

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Poster available in two sizes

24 x 36pdf icon

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Poster available in two sizes

8 x 11.5pdf icon

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Poster available in two sizes

24 x 36pdf icon

Digital Tools

Download and share via websites, email signatures, social media, dating apps, and other forms of digital advertising.

Ad JPG images, available in four sizes

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1. 300 x 250image icon
2. 728 x 90image icon
3. 970 x 250image icon
4. 320 x 480image icon – Best size suited for dating application interstitial ads

Ad JPG images, available in four sizes

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1. 300 x 250image icon
2. 728 x 90image icon
3. 970 x 250image icon
4. 320 x 480image icon – Best size suited for dating application interstitial ads

Hepatitis A Outbreak Resources

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Factsheet for gay and bisexual men

Englishpdf icon
Spanishpdf icon

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Poster for men who have sex with men (MSM) encouraging hepatitis A vaccination

Englishpdf icon

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Poster for men who have sex with men (MSM) encouraging hepatitis A vaccination

Englishpdf icon

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Poster for men who have sex with men (MSM) encouraging hepatitis A vaccination

Englishpdf icon