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May 1992

Sexual Behavior in Peace Corps Volunteers

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(5):1097. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400170159036

To the Editor.—  As a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Cameroon, 1981-1983), I read with interest the study on human immunodeficiency virus infection in Peace Corps volunteers in Zaire by Cappello et al.1 I am happy to see that volunteers have changed their behavior somewhat, as shown by the decrease in the number of reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases. I am concerned, however, that volunteers are not vaccinated against hepatitis B. This is a sexually transmitted disease, endemic in much of Africa, for which there is a safe and effective vaccine. Since, as evidenced by the sexually transmitted disease rate of 68 per 1000 volunteers per year, all Peace Corps volunteers will neither remain abstinent nor practice safe sex during their terms of service, it would seem prudent to add hepatitis B vaccine to the list (already quite long, if my deltoid and gluteus muscles remember correctly) of immunizations