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Hepatitis A

Close CoupleTransmission of hepatitis A virus (HAV) during sexual activity occurs due to fecal-oral contact or contamination. Measures typically used to prevent the transmission of other STDs (e.g., use of condoms) do not prevent HAV transmission. Vaccination is the most effective means of preventing HAV transmission among persons at risk for infection.

Hepatitis B

Among adults seeking treatment in STD clinics, as many as 10%�% have evidence of past or current hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Many of these infections could have been prevented through universal vaccination during delivery of STD prevention or treatment services. A study of adults diagnosed with acute hepatitis B found that 39% had sought care or been screened for an STD before they were infected with HBV, indicating a significant missed opportunity to vaccinate at-risk persons when they first access STD prevention or treatment services.

Hepatitis C

Although not common, hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be transmitted through sexual activity. The factors found to be associated with sexual transmission of HCV are sex with multiple partners, presence of other STDs, or sex with trauma. Case-control studies have reported an association between acquiring HCV infection and exposure to a sex contact with HCV infection or exposure to multiple sex partners. Surveillance data also indicate that 15%�% of persons reported with acute HCV infection have a history of sexual exposure in the absence of other risk factors.

Guidelines and Recommendations

Hepatitis B Vaccination Recommendations for Adults; Appendix A, B, C  
PDF version: (with appendices) PDF file link - see Legend on left side of page
MMWR 2006;55(RR-16)

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2006 PDF file link - see Legend on left side of page
MMWR 2006;55(RR-11)
Hepatitis A (page 69)
Hepatitis B (page 71)
Hepatitis C (page 76)

Recommended HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), and Viral Hepatitis Prevention Services, by Risk Population PDF file link - see Legend on left side of page

Related Pages

Page last reviewed: June 24, 2008
Page last modified: June 24, 2008
Content source:
  Division of Viral Hepatitis
  National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention