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Are gay men considered high risk for hepatitus B? How many years after the last hepatitus B and A boosters should gay men get another?
Apr 1, 1997

Are gay men considered high risk for hepatitus B? How many years after the last hepatitus B booster should gay men get another? How many years after the last hepatitus A booster should gay men get another?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

Gay/Bisexual men are generally considered at higher risk for both Hepatitis A and B. This is because Gay/Besexual men have tended to engage in high risk activities for these viruses, with multiple sexual partners. Of course, not all Gay/Bisexual men have put themselves at risk for these forms of Hepatitis. However, the rate of sexually acquired Hepatitis A and B, are higher among Gay/Bisexual men. Hepatitis B is transmitted the same way as HIV, but is 100 times more infectious. Hepatitis A is transmitted through the oral-fecal route. Sexually speaking, Hepatitis A is transmitted by rimming (engaging in oral-anal sex) with an infected partner.

In regard to Hepatitis B booster vaccinations, please see the question, "Booster immunization using different hepatitus B recombinent vaccine manufacturers".

In regard to risks for Hepatitis A, and other forms of Hepatitis, please see the question, "How soon should I test for Hep B? / Window Period for Hepatitis?". Because the Hepatitis A vaccine is so new, we do not yet know when (or if) booster vaccinations will be required later on in life.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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