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.