To determine the prevalence of positive hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibody to hepatitis D virus (anti-HDV) and associated factors among migrant sex workers in Chiangmai, Thailand.
This cross-sectional study was conducted at various sexual entertainment venues in Chiangmai, Thailand, in 2019. Consenting participants were interviewed using a questionnaire and plasma tested for HBV markers (DiaSorin, Italy) and anti-HDV Ab (DIA.PRO Diagnostic Bioprobes, Italy), if HBsAg positive. Associations between HBsAg positivity or HDV Ab and potential factors were examined using univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis.
Between February and September 2019, 396 migrant sex workers, half female, were recruited. Their median age was 25 years (IQR 22-30), 95% were Burmese. Overall HBsAg prevalence was 11.4%; 8.1% in females and 14.7% in males (chi-square, p = 0.040). One-third were still susceptible to HBV. No HBsAg positive participants had anti-HDV antibodies. HBsAg positivity was associated with being male (aOR:3.01, 95%CI:1.25-7.68, p = 0.014), having attended school (aOR:4.50, 95%CI:1.26-15.98, p = 0.020), having separated/divorced/widowed (aOR:5.77, 95%CI:1.48-22.52, p = 0.012), and having unprotected sex (aOR:3.38, 95%CI:1.31-8.71, p = 0.012).
In this young population, higher HBsAg prevalence in males may be related to sexual transmission, indicating the need of HBV screening programs linked with HBV prevention and care.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.