Barriers and Facilitators to Hepatitis B Vaccination Among Sex Workers in Vancouver, Canada: Implications for Integrated HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis Services

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Ranjan, Anuisa & Shannon, Kate & Chettiar, Jill & Braschel, Melissa & Ti, Lianping & Goldenberg, Shira. (2019). Barriers and facilitators to hepatitis B vaccination among sex workers in Vancouver, Canada: Implications for integrated HIV, STI, and viral hepatitis services. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. 87. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2019.07.032

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Hepatitis B
Sex work


Sex workers (SWs) face an increased burden of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections, yet little is known regarding hepatitis B virus (HBV) prevention and care. This study was performed to characterize cross-sectional and prospective correlates of HBV vaccination among SWs in Vancouver.



Questionnaire data were drawn from a community-based cohort of SWs (2010–2017). Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine correlates of lifetime self-reported HBV vaccination. Multivariable generalized estimating equation (GEE) regression was used to assess correlates of recent vaccination.



Among 855 participants, 68.3% reported lifetime HBV vaccination. Multivariable logistic regression showed that im/migrants (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.50, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.32–0.78) had lower odds of vaccination and that those using injection drugs (AOR 1.88, 95% CI 1.27– 2.78) and those who had undergone HIV testing (AOR 1.94, 95% CI 1.14–3.29) had higher odds of vaccination. In the multivariable GEE analysis, HIV seropositivity (AOR 1.93, 95% CI 1.26–2.97) and recent STI testing (AOR 2.95, 95% CI 1.99–4.39) correlated with recent HBV vaccination.



Im/migrant SWs from HBV-endemic settings appear to face gaps in HBV prevention. Evidence-based interventions addressing gaps in voluntary HBV prevention and care are needed, including community-based and culturally safe services. Injection drug use and HIV testing were linked to enhanced vaccination, suggesting that harm reduction and HIV programmes may facilitate linkage to HBV prevention.

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