News from Hepatitis Week of Dec. 7, 2003 / Vol. 3 No. 49
Study: Few With Sexually-Transmitted Diseases Are Vaccinated Against Hepatitis B

Very few people with sexually-transmitted diseases have been vaccinated against the hepatitis B virus, according to a study reported in the December issue of the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Researchers from public health agencies in Miami and the University of Miami interviewed 682 clients at a clinic for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

The patients discussed their risk factors for hepatitis B and their vaccination history against this disease. The patients also furnished blood samples to be tested for hepatitis B.

Only 130 or 19 percent of all of the participants told researchers that they had received at least one dose of hepatitis B vaccine. However, blood tests revealed that only 64 or nine percent of the participants were immune as a result of a hepatitis B vaccination. Meanwhile, 23 percent or 154 patients were found to have had a previous hepatitis B infection.

The researchers concluded that most of the clients were susceptible to the hepatitis B virus and were at high risk for HBV infection. The researchers also noted that most patients with sexually transmitted diseases would benefit from a hepatitis B vaccination.

Other sources: Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2003 Dec;30(12):914-918