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Paper Information

Journal:   HEPATITIS MONTHLY   APRIL 2011 , Volume 11 , Number 4 (33); Page(s) 273 To 277.
 
Paper: 

HEPATITIS B SEROMARKERS, HEPATITIS C ANTIBODY, AND RISK BEHAVIORS IN MARRIED COUPLES, A BORDERED PROVINCE OF WESTERN THAILAND

 
 
Author(s):  LUKSAMIJARULKUL PIPAT*, PIROONAMORNPUN PITTAYA, KANTHARADUSSADEE TRIAMCHAISRI SOMPORN
 
* DEPARTMENT OF MICROBIOLOGY, FACULTY OF PUBLIC HEALTH, MAHIDOL UNIVERSITY, BANGKOK 10400, THAILAND
 
Abstract: 

Background: Married couples constitute a target group for reducing the risk of infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Objectives: This study attempted to assess HBV seromarkers, anti-HCV-positive rates, and risk behaviors among married couples in a bordered province of western Thailand.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study of 114 married couples aged 15-44 years was performed. Approximately 25-30 married couples were randomly selected from 4 districts in a province of western Thailand. All study participants who participated voluntarily were interviewed using structured questionnaires. Their blood specimens were collected to screen for HBV seromarkers (HBsAg, anti-HBs, and anti-HBc) and anti- HCV.
Results: Approximately 21.1% of husbands and 2.6% of wives had a history of extramarital sex without using a condom; 18.4% of husbands and 4.4% of wives had tattoos; and 18.4% and 3.5%, respectively, consumed alcohol regularly. Additionally, 4.4% of husbands and 2.6% of wives had a history of sexual contact before marriage. In the serological study, 10.5% of husbands and 5.3% of wives were HBsAg-positive, and 1.8% of husbands and 0.9% of wives were anti-HCV-positive. Among HBsAg-positive subjects, 15/18 had spouses who were positive for any HBV marker, and 1 had a spouse who was HBsAg- and anti-HBc positive. Three participants were positive for anti-HCV (2 males and 1 female). One anti-HCV-positive male had a history of regular alcohol consumption and extramarital sex without a condom, and another had a history of intravenous drug use. The anti-HCV-positive female had a history of sexual contact before marriage.
Conclusions: This study found high percentages of risk behaviors and HBsAg positivity among married couples in a bordered province of western Thailand, especially in husbands. These findings support the evidence of HCV transmission via sexual contact and intravenous drug use.

 
Keyword(s): HCV ANTIBODIES, RISK BEHAVIORS, SEX, SPOUSES
 
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