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Euro Surveill. 2009 Nov 26;14(47). pii: 19421.

Viral hepatitis among men who have sex with men, epidemiology and public health consequences.

Author information

1
Cluster Infectious Diseases, Public Health Service, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. aurbanus@ggd.amsterdam.nl

Abstract

Viral hepatitis causes major disease burden worldwide, due to the chronic hepatitis sequelae: cirrhosis and primary liver cancer. Transmission of viral hepatitis is a problem not only in low-income countries, but also in high-income ones where viral hepatitis is a frequently occurring infection among men who have sex with men (MSM). Although the transmission routes of the three main hepatitis viruses, A, B and C, differ, MSM mainly acquire viral hepatitis during sexual contact. Vaccination programmes (only available for hepatitis A and B), raising awareness, and screening can be used to prevent transmission. However, despite the introduction of such methods in many high-income countries, the spread of viral hepatitis among MSM is still ongoing. This paper provides an overview of sexually acquired hepatitis A, B, and C among MSM in high-income countries, using recent insights obtained through molecular epidemiology, with the aim to raise awareness, improve vaccination coverage, and stimulate prevention programs.

PMID:
19941800
DOI:
10.2807/ese.14.47.19421-en
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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