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INTRODUCTION Hepatitis B virus (HBV), a worldwide health problem, can cause serious infections and has a carriage rate of 20% (1). Globally, four hundred million people are infected with HBV (http://www.who.int/ mediacentre/factsheets/fs204/en/index.html). Almost 50% of them have cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Approximately 3-5 million are carriers in Turkey (2). The seropositivity of HBsAg is 3.4% in the Western region while it is 8% in Eastern and Southeast Anatolia (3). Exposure to HBV increases with age in both urban and rural areas. Gurol et al. reported that the overall seroprevalence of HBV in Turkey was 4.19% (4). It is estimated that 3% of the world population is chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) (5). In Western Europe, the prevalence of HCV ranges from 0.4% to 3%. It is higher in Eastern Europe and the Middle East (6). The seroprevalence of HCV (1.2-4%) in Turkey is less than that of HBV, and this prevalence is less than 1% among blood donors (7).