Factors Associated With Testing for Hepatitis C in an Internet-Recruited Sample of Men Who Have Sex With Men


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Abstract

BackgroundNearly 4 million individuals in the United States (1.8%) have been infected with hepatitis C virus, yet few are aware of their infection.GoalTo identify correlates associated with hepatitis C virus testing among a sample of men who have sex with men.Study DesignInternet communications were used for solicitation and collection of data, using a 31-question survey.ResultsWhen the study was restricted to men who have sex with men in the United States (n = 381), 95% of the respondents (n = 361) reported at least one risk factor for hepatitis C virus transmission, 39% of these respondents (n = 140) reported having been tested for hepatitis C virus. Testing was associated with a history of nonsexual risk behavior, increased knowledge of the hepatitis C virus, and healthcare provider communication.ConclusionA significant proportion of at-risk respondents had not been tested. Interventions are needed to increase hepatitis C virus knowledge in the community of men who have sex with men, and to encourage providers to communicate about hepatitis to the men in this group who screen as high risk on the basis of their risk behaviors.

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