Risk factors for hepatitis B virus infection among heterosexuals attending a sexually transmitted diseases clinic in Italy: Role of genital ulcerative diseases

Rosamaria Corona, Federico Caprilli, Amalia Giglio, Tommaso Stroffolini, Maria Elena Tosti, Giulio Gentili, Grazia Prignano, Paolo Pasquini, Alfonso Mele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The seroprevalence and risk factors for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection were determined among 1,497 heterosexuals with no history of intravenous drug use (median age 32, range 15-78) treated at a sexually transmitted disease clinic in Rome. A total of 329 (22.0%) had antibodies to HBV core antigen (anti-HBc), a rate nearly four times as high as the 5.8% found recently in a national sample of young male adults, ages 18-26 years. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that the risk of anti-HBc positivity was independently associated with male sex, increasing age, lower level of education, three or more sexual partners in the previous year, and positive syphilis serology. Lack of condom use, history of nonulcerative sexually transmitted diseases, and genital herpes were not associated with anti-HBc positivity. These findings confirm that heterosexual exposure plays an important role in the spread of HBV infection. Furthermore, these data indicate that individuals with more than two sexual partners a year and those with positive syphilis serology should be immunised against HBV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-266
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1996

Keywords

  • Genital ulcer disease
  • Hepatitis B
  • Heterosexuals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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