HealthDay News — More than one-third of adult US HIV patients miss opportunities to initiate hepatitis B vaccination, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

John Weiser, MD, MPH, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated the prevalence of hepatitis B vaccination among 18,089 adults receiving HIV medical care and participating in the Medical Monitoring Project (2009 to 2012).

The researchers found that at the beginning of the surveillance period, 44.2% of US HIV patients were candidates to initiate vaccination vs 36.7% at the end of the surveillance period. 

However, at the end of the surveillance period, only 9.6% of the candidates were vaccinated, while 7.5% had no documented vaccination but had documented infection or immunity and 82.9% remained candidates for vaccination. Vaccination was higher among patients at facilities funded by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP), with 12.5% vaccinated during the study period vs 3.7% at facilities not funded by RWHAP.

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“Meeting goals for hepatitis B elimination will require increased vaccination of HIV patients in all practice settings, particularly at facilities not funded by RWHAP,” the authors write.

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Weiser J, Perez A, Bradley H, et al. Low prevalence of hepatitis B vaccination among patients receiving medical care for HIV infection in the United States, 2009 to 2012 [published online December 26, 2017]. Ann Intern Med. doi: 10.7326/M17-1689