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.
- 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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Handling editor Erica L Plummer
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 The authors have not declared a specific 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.
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