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Hepatitis B vaccination for male sex workers: the experience of a specialist GUM service
  1. G Sethi1,
  2. B M Holden1,
  3. L Greene1,
  4. J Gaffney1,
  5. H Ward2
  1. 1Department of Genitourinary Medicine, St Mary’s Hospital, Praed Street, London W2, UK
  2. 2Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London, Norfolk Place, London W2, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 G Sethi
 Department of Genitourinary Medicine, 2nd Floor Thomas Guy House, Guy’s Hospital, St Thomas’s Street, London SE1, UK; gsethi{at}


Background: Male sex workers are at risk of blood borne viruses but may have limited access to sexual health services, including vaccination. We explore factors associated with hepatitis B vaccination uptake among male sex workers in London

Methods: Follow up study of men attending the Working Men’s Project, a specialist health project for men who sell sex, between 1994 and 2003.

Results: At baseline 797 men were screened for hepatitis B; 308 were not eligible for vaccination because of past or current infection (155, 19.4%) or previous vaccination 153 (19.2%). Of the 489 men eligible for a full course of vaccination 292 (59.8%) completed the course. Completion rates fell over time: men recruited up to 1999 were more likely to complete the course than those recruited more recently (177/259, 68.3% compared with 115/229, 50.2%, OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.48 to 3.09).

Conclusion: This specialist service achieved a high rate of vaccine completion in the early years, but the decline is a concern. It may reflect wider availability of vaccination elsewhere and a more mobile population of sex workers. Shorter courses may achieve a higher completion.

  • GUM, genitourinary medicine
  • HBV, hepatitis B virus
  • MSM, men who have sex with men
  • MSWs, male sex workers
  • hepatitis B virus

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  • This work received no funding.

  • HW is the editor of Sexually Transmitted Infections. The other authors declare that they have no competing interests.