Viral Hepatitis And Men Who Have Sex with Men
Key Facts about Viral Hepatitis in Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)
- Among adults, an estimated 10% of new Hepatitis A cases and 20% of new Hepatitis B cases occur in MSM.
- MSM are at increased risk for Hepatitis C if they are involved in high-risk behaviors.
- There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C and testing for Hepatitis C is not recommended for MSM unless they were born from 1945 through 1965, have HIV, or are engaging in risky behaviors. The best way to prevent Hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, especially sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs.
Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B Vaccine Recommendation for Men Who Have Sex with Men
CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccination for MSM.
- The Hepatitis A and B vaccines can be given separately or as a combination vaccine using a recommended schedule.
Rationale for the Recommendation
Since 1996, ACIP has recommended Hepatitis A vaccination of MSM.
- Hepatitis A outbreaks among MSM have been reported frequently. Cyclic outbreaks have occurred in urban areas in the United States and can occur in the context of an outbreak in the larger community.
Hepatitis BACIP and CDC recommend routine Hepatitis B vaccination for MSM. Because of higher rates of infection among this population, CDC also recommends Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HbsAg) testing to determine if a person is or has been infected with Hepatitis B and if the vaccine series is needed for protection.
- The first dose of the vaccine and HbsAg testing should be done during the same medical visit. However, HbsAg testing is not a requirement for vaccination. In settings where testing is not possible, vaccination of recommended populations should continue.
Scientific Guidelines and Recommendations
Hepatitis B Vaccination Recommendations for Adults; Appendix A, B, C
MMWR 2006 ;55(RR-16)
Healthcare Provider Resources
- Page last reviewed: June 9, 2015
- Page last updated: May 31, 2015
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