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Am J Prev Med. 2001 May;20(4):272-6.

Preventing transmission of hepatitis B virus from people with chronic infection.

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  • 1Health and Human Services Agency, San Diego, California, USA. mpw5@cdc.gov



People with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection are the major source of HBV transmission in the United States. The Public Health Service recommends prevention counseling for HBV-infected people and vaccination of their household contacts and sexual partners.


To describe the implementation of these recommendations by community physicians.


Telephone survey of 69 people with chronic HBV infection and their healthcare providers, October 1997 through November 1997, in San Diego, California.


Counseling of people with chronic HBV infection and vaccination of their household contacts and sexual partners.


Forty-three percent of providers reported providing prevention counseling to their HBV-infected patients to reduce transmission; 16% of patients reported receiving counseling. For the 32 pairs for which both the patient and provider could be reached and the patients were aware of their HBV infection, 20 (63%) providers reported counseling patients, and 10 (50%) of these providers' patients reported receiving counseling. Fifty-five percent of providers recommended vaccination of contacts; 13% of eligible adult household contacts and sexual partners and 20% of eligible child household contacts had begun hepatitis B vaccination.


Prevention counseling of people with chronic HBV infection and vaccination of their contacts occur infrequently despite guidelines and an effective vaccine. Collaborative efforts between providers and people involved in public health are needed to improve delivery of these preventive health services.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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