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Understanding correlates of hepatitis B virus vaccination in men who have sex with men: what have we learned?


Objectives: Hepatitis B infection (HBV) is prevalent among men who have sex with men (MSM) and may lead to significant morbidity and death. Although an effective vaccine exists vaccination rates among MSM are low. We conducted a systematic review to synthesise the various findings from empirical correlational studies to understand HBV vaccination and series completion among MSM.

Methods: We systematically searched the Medline, PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, ERIC, and Web of Science databases to identify the breadth of published studies pertaining to HBV vaccination among MSM and to synthesise findings from these studies to better identify common themes that may direct future research and intervention approaches.

Results: Eight papers specifically addressed correlates of HBV vaccination among MSM. Six domains were identified as predictors of vaccination: (1) demographic variables such as younger age and higher education level; (2) knowledge of the vaccine; (3) access to health care; (4) level of “outness” regarding one’s same sex sexual orientation; (5) behavioural factors including sexual and drug use behaviour; and (6) psychosocial variables. Three papers addressed predictors of vaccine series completion among MSM, observing two main domains: (1) demographic variables such as younger age and higher income level; and, (2) behavioural factors including sexual and health promotion behaviours.

Conclusions: Continued educational efforts, creation of environments that facilitate proper risk factor evaluation, and access to low cost vaccine may facilitate vaccine uptake. Although we observed important trends in the studies we reviewed, there is a lack of empirical research regarding this important public health issue.

  • hepatitis B
  • vaccination
  • prevention

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