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The Food and Drug Administration this week approved a new drug by Canadian firm Cangene that aims to prevent hepatitis B infection in those exposed to the virus, the Canadian Press reports. The drug, HepaGam B, is approved for treatment of acute exposure to HBV through contact with infected blood, for infants born to infected mothers, and for those exposed to the virus through sexual contact. The drug will be licensed for marketing to Apotex and should be on the market within a few months.
Hepatitis B is a common sexually transmitted disease among gay men. Although vaccines exist to prevent hepatitis A and B infections, only about half of gay men have been inoculated against the diseases, according to the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. GLMA urges all sexually active gay and bisexual men to talk with their doctors about hepatitis A and B vaccination. (Advocate.com)