The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has issued new advice on staying healthy during Pride season.
Several European Union/European Economic Area countries witnessed a large outbreak of hepatitis A infections between 2016 and 2018, mainly among men who have sex with men (MSM). There has been an increase in cases of hepatitis A infections in the Netherlands recently, particularly among MSM. Owing to this, and coinciding with Pride season, the ECDC has renewed earlier recommendations for preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
It says individuals attending Pride events should be up to date with routine vaccinations (including hepatitis A) and boosters as per their national schedules. Individuals should be provided with advice regarding the prevention of STIs and information on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis before their Pride attendance. The ECDC recommends that individuals undergo testing for STIs on their return.
MSM with a diagnosis of hepatitis A should be referred to sexual health services for further STI/HIV testing. Additionally, known partners of diagnosed individuals should be notified and offered testing and treatment.
MSM are believed to have an increased risk for hepatitis A in settings with low and very low endemicity, and vaccination is recommended for this population by most EU countries.