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May 1985

Evolution of Acute Hepatitis B in Homosexual Men to Chronic Hepatitis B: Prospective Study of Placebo Recipients in a Hepatitis B Vaccine Trial

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(5):881-882. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360050145024

• To determine whether the frequency of chronic hepatitis B in homosexual men reflects the high rate of acute hepatitis B or an altered response to hepatitis B, 236 homosexual men were prospectively followed up after entry into the placebo group of a hepatitis B vaccine trial. Sixty-six participants (28.0%) developed hepatitis B ten to 18 months after entering the study. Only four (6.1%) of the 66 had persistence of hepatitis B beyond six months, similar to reports in nonhomosexual subjects. This study suggests that the high rate of acute hepatitis B is the major factor contributing to the high prevalence of chronic hepatitis B in homosexual men, rather than an altered host response. Clinical features of the acute illness could not be used to identify patients who developed chronic hepatitis B.

(Arch Intern Med 1985;145:881-882)