The prevalence of hepatitis B virus markers in 121 men and 239 women prostitutes was studied. Of 33 (9.7%) with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), nine (27.3%) also had hepatitis Be antigen, which was more prevalent in men than women. Antibodies to HBsAg (anti-HBs) and to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) were found in about 71% of men and women prostitutes. Hepatitis B virus markers were more prevalent in men than in women prostitutes. Compared with other people, prostitutes had a significantly greater prevalence of hepatitis B virus markers. This study strongly suggested the importance of sexual transmission of infection with hepatitis B virus in a country where infection is endemic.
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