Papers And Originals

Prevalence of Hepatitis B Antigen and Antibody in Prostitutes

Br Med J 1974; 2 doi: (Published 04 May 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;2:256
  1. G. Papaevangelou,
  2. D. Trichopoulos,
  3. T. Kremastinou,
  4. G. Papoutsakis


    We investigated the prevalence of hepatitis B antigen (HBAg) and antibody (HBAb) in 293 prostitutes and in 379 pregnant women of similar age and of low socioeconomic level, who served as controls. HBAg was found in 4·4% of prostitutes and 3·4% of controls. The prevalence of HBAb was significantly higher (P <0·001) in prostitutes (56·7%) than in controls (24·5%). The prevalence of HBAb was clearly age-dependent in both groups. Evidence of hepatitis B virus infection significantly increased with the number of years in prostitution. The evidence of increased infection rates among prostitutes and their distribution support the hypothesis that hepatitis B infection is sexually transmitted.