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A Successful Approach to Immunizing Men Who Have Sex with Men Against Hepatitis B

Authors

  • Robert B Savage R.N., M.S.,

    1. Robert B. Savage is a Communicable Disease Epidemiologist, and Mary Jo Hussey, is the HIV Program Coordinator, Madison Department of Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin. Marjorie B. Hurie is the Hepatitis B Coordinator, Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin.
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  • Mary Jo Hussey R.N., B.S.,

    1. Robert B. Savage is a Communicable Disease Epidemiologist, and Mary Jo Hussey, is the HIV Program Coordinator, Madison Department of Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin. Marjorie B. Hurie is the Hepatitis B Coordinator, Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Marjorie B Hurie R.N., M.S.

    1. Robert B. Savage is a Communicable Disease Epidemiologist, and Mary Jo Hussey, is the HIV Program Coordinator, Madison Department of Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin. Marjorie B. Hurie is the Hepatitis B Coordinator, Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin.
    Search for more papers by this author

Address correspondence to Robert B. Savage, Madison Department of Public Health, City-County Bldg., Madison, WI 53709. E-mail: rsavage@ci.madison.wi.us

Abstract

This paper reports the success of outreach efforts to immunize adults at high risk of acquiring hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Local health department testers recruited clients when they sought anonymous HIV testing. Interested clients were serologically tested for HBV infection. Susceptibles were offered a free hepatitis B vaccine. Of 189 clients who were tested, 161 (86%) were susceptible to HBV infection and 140 (74%) were men who have sex with men (MSM). Of the susceptibles, 82 (51%) started the hepatitis B vaccine series. Sixty-five (80%) received three doses of hepatitis B vaccine and an additional 10 (12%) received two doses. Completing the hepatitis B vaccine series was associated with being a MSM (odds ratio [OR] 8.8, confidence interval [CI] 1.5–56.0) and with not being an injection drug user (IDU) (OR 0.2, CI 0.02–1.0). One way to provide hepatitis B vaccine to MSM is to attach an immunization program to a successful anonymous HIV testing program. The feasibility of implementing such programs would increase if public vaccine policymakers made more federally purchased hepatitis B vaccine available for adults.

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