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Sexually acquired hepatitis
  1. M G Brook
  1. Patrick Clements Clinic, Central Middlesex Hospital, Acton Lane, London NW10 7NS, UK; Gary.Brook{at}


    Objectives: To assess current knowledge of sexually transmitted viral hepatitis in relation to epidemiology, clinical presentation, management, and diagnosis with particular reference to resource-poor settings.

    Method: A search of published literature identified through Medline from 1966 to October 2001, the Cochrane Library, and reference lists taken from each article obtained. Textword and MeSH searches for hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, G, delta, GB virus, GBV-C, and TT virus were linked to searches under the textword terms sex$, prevent$, and MeSH subheadings, microbiology, complications, drug therapy, therapy, diagnosis, epidemiology, transmission, and prevention and control.

    Conclusions: In heterosexual relationships, hepatitis B is readily transmitted sexually and hepatitis C and D less so, with no evidence for sexual transmission of hepatitis A. Hepatitis types A–D are all transmissible sexually in male homosexual relationships under certain conditions. In resource-poor countries sexual transmission is generally only a significant route of transmission for hepatitis B.

    • viral hepatitis
    • sexual transmission
    • tropical medicine

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    • Series editor: David Lewis