Among the Chinese population of 1.3 billion, there are an estimated 93 million carriers of hepatitis B virus (HBV). Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at increased risk for HBV infection; however, the prevalence of HBV immunization and infection among Chinese MSM remains undetermined.
A cross-sectional survey of 1,114 eligible participants was conducted in Beijing, China. Multiple methods were used to recruit study participants. Demographic information and potential correlated factors were collected by questionnaire. Additionally, blood specimens were collected and tested for sexually transmitted infections and serologic markers of hepatitis B immunization and infection.
Laboratory data were available for 1,111 participants (99.7%), the prevalence of hepatitis B immunization was 38.9%, and 26.5% had serologic markers of HBV infection. Multivariate analyses indicated that higher education level, smaller number of male sex partners in the past 12 months, reported diagnosis of sexually transmitted disease (STD), and history of blood donation were independently associated with HBV immunization. Absence of steady male sex partner(s) in the past 12 months, and reported diagnosis of STD were shown to be independently associated with HBV infection. MSM positive for HBV infection were more likely to have past or current syphilis infection.
Low prevalence of HBV immunization and high prevalence of HBV infection among Chinese MSM and a correlation between sexual risk factors and hepatitis B infection indicate that comprehensive preventative measures for HBV among MSM, including blood donor and HIV-STD clinic vaccination programs as well as targeted health education campaigns should be developed in China.
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