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Hepatitis A and B vaccination in gbMSM in Ireland: findings from the European MSM Internet Survey 2017 (EMIS-2017)
  1. Philippa White1,
  2. Kate O'Donnell2,
  3. Aline Brennan1,
  4. Martin Davoren3,
  5. Fiona Lyons4,
  6. Mick Quinlan5,
  7. Bill Foley5,
  8. Caroline Hurley4,
  9. Derval Igoe2,
  10. Peter Barrett1
  1. 1Department of Public Health, HSE-South, Cork, Ireland
  2. 2Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3Sexual Health Centre, Cork, Ireland
  4. 4HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme, Dublin, Ireland
  5. 5Gay Health Network, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Philippa White, Department of Public Health, HSE-South, St Finbarr's Hospital, Cork, Ireland; philippa.white2{at}


Objectives Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) have a higher risk of acquiring hepatitis A and B viruses (HAV and HBV) than the general population and are recommended for vaccination against both in Ireland. This study aims to determine the prevalence of self-reported HAV and HBV infection and vaccination among gbMSM in Ireland and explore factors associated with self-reported HAV and HBV vaccination among gbMSM.

Methods This study analysed Irish data from the European MSM Internet Survey 2017 (EMIS-2017) to measure the prevalence of self-reported HAV and HBV infection and vaccination among gbMSM in Ireland. Multivariable logistic regression was used to explore the associations between sociodemographic, healthcare-related and behavioural factors and self-reported vaccination.

Results There were 2083 EMIS-2017 respondents in Ireland. Among HIV-negative gbMSM, 4.6% and 4.4% reported previous HAV and HBV infection, respectively, and 51% and 57% reported the receipt of one or more vaccine dose for HAV and HBV, respectively. In the multivariable analysis, HIV-negative gbMSM had lower odds of self-reported HAV vaccination if they lived outside the capital, Dublin (aOR 0.61, 95% CI: 0.48 to 0.78), had no third-level education (aOR 0.65, 95% CI: 0.45 to 0.92), were not tested for HIV in the last year (aOR 0.39, 95% CI: 0.31 to 0.50), had never tried to obtain pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP, aOR 0.60, 95% CI: 0.38 to 0.96) and had not been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the previous year (aOR 0.42, 95% CI: 0.28 to 0.63). Similar associations were observed for self-reported HBV vaccination.

Conclusions Self-reported vaccination against HAV and HBV among gbMSM in Ireland is high, but the level of vaccination remains insufficient to protect against future HAV and HBV infections and outbreaks. Efforts to increase vaccination coverage among gbMSM should focus on men who live outside the capital, have lower educational attainment and do not engage with sexual health services.

  • vaccination
  • hepatitis A
  • hepatitis B
  • health promotion

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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  • Handling editor Erica L Plummer

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was first published online. The authors have made changes to the original manuscript to acknowledge the broad range of stakeholders who should have been included in our original acknowledgements section.The funding section has been updated to recognise the funding given to the wider EMIS project, as opposed to this particular study. The methods section has also been updated to better capture the ethical considerations for this study and cite some important EMIS-related publications which were omitted from the original manuscript. This correction is being made because any study analysing the EMIS-2017 dataset must meet certain contractually agreed requirements when publishing.

  • Contributors PW and PB conceptualised the study. PW and PB planned the study and KO’D, AB, MD, FL, MQ, BF, CH and DI all assisted in planning the overall analysis of the EMIS-2017 data and agreed on an analysis plan in advance of the study. PW, KO’D, AB, MD, FL, MQ, BF, CH, DI and PB planned the variables to include in the regression models. PW undertook the statistical analysis under the supervision of and in consultation with PB. PW wrote the first draft of the article and PB gave critical feedback on it. PW wrote all subsequent drafts and KO’D, AB, MD, FL, CH, DI and PB provided editing to them and agreed on the content of the draft that was ultimately submitted. PW is the guarantor of the study.

  • Funding EMIS-2017 was carried out as part of ESTICOM, under the service contract 2015 71 01 with The Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (Chafea), acting under powers delegated by the Commission of the European Union. The contract arises from the Call for tender No Chafea/2015/Health/38. The authors of this study received no grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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