Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at high risk for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Data on the effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on incident HBV infection in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected MSM are limited.
Objective: To determine predictors of incident HBV infection in MSM during pre-HAART and HAART periods.
Design: Observational cohort study.
Setting: Cohort of MSM who have, or are at risk for, HIV infection.
Patients: 2375 HBV-uninfected MSM in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study.
Measurements: Poisson regression was used to compare incidence rates of HBV infection in the pre-HAART and HAART eras and to identify factors associated with incidence of HBV infection.
Results: In 25 322 person-years of follow-up, 244 incident HBV infections occurred. The unadjusted incidence rate was higher in HIV-infected MSM than in HIV-uninfected MSM (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.9 [95% CI, 1.5 to 2.4]) and was significantly lower in the HAART era than in the pre-HAART era among HIV-infected (IRR, 0.2 [CI, 0.1 to 0.4]) and HIV-uninfected (IRR, 0.3 [CI, 0.2 to 0.4]) MSM. Age younger than 40 years (IRR, 2.3 [CI, 1.7 to 3.0]), more than 1 recent sexual partner (IRR, 3.1 [CI, 2.3 to 4.2]), and HIV infection (IRR, 2.4 [CI, 1.8 to 3.1]) were independently associated with higher incidence of HBV infection, whereas HBV vaccination was protective (IRR, 0.3 [CI, 0.2 to 0.4]). Highly active antiretroviral therapy with HIV RNA levels less than 400 copies/mL was associated with protection (IRR, 0.2 [CI, 0.1 to 0.5]), but HAART in those with HIV RNA levels of 400 copies/mL or greater was not.
Limitation: The observational nature limits inferences about causality.
Conclusion: Effective HAART is associated with lower incidence of HBV infection; however, even in the HAART era, incidence of HBV infection remains high among MSM.
Primary Funding Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.