Since the beginning of 2017, an epidemic of hepatitis A has affected gay and bisexual men in France and the number of cases is increasing in many French regions and throughout Europe.

Image/FotoshopTofs via pixabay
Image/FotoshopTofs via pixabay

Health officials in France have reported 771 cases of acute hepatitis A  through May 31 this year, with 279 cases reported in May alone. This compares with 693 cases reported in all 2016.

The regions most affected are the Ile-de-France (221), Hauts-de-France (157), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (79), Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, according to Public Health France.

Health officials launched a digital campaign last week to inform about the risks of transmission and to remind that the vaccination is the most effective way to prevent hepatitis A.

The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) reported today that 1,500 hepatitis A virus (HAV) genotype IA confirmed cases have been recorded in three clusters in the more than a dozen countries.

They say the multinational dimension of these clusters may be explained by the highly interconnected sexual networks among adult men who have sex with men (MSM) in Europe.