Today, July 28, is World Hepatitis Day.
It’s a good time to reflect on this serious illness and how we can take action to reduce or eliminate its impact on ourselves and our community.
Did you know 1 in 12 Asian Americans has hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a serious infection which affects the liver, but may not show symptoms or cause illness in a person for many years. If left untreated, about 1 in 4 people will develop liver complications such as liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. Still, abut 2 in 3 Asian Americans with hepatitis B do not know they are infected.
Who should get tested for hepatitis B?
- People from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East and the Amazon Basin
- People with parents from the above areas, and were not vaccinated as children
- Those who live with a person who has chronic hepatitis B
- Pregnant women
- Healthcare workers
- Injection drug users
- Men who have sex with men
What can we do?
If you do not know your hepatitis B status and your family is from a part of the world where hepatitis B is common, ask your primary care provider to test you for hepatitis B. Many people who need it, have not had this test yet. There is a very effective vaccine for hepatitis B that can protect people without the virus. For those that have chronic hepatitis B, there are treatments that can prevent or delay liver disease.
Talk to your family about hepatitis B and encourage others to get tested and vaccinated. Knowing your hepatitis B status and is the best way to protect yourself and your family.
To learn more about hepatitis B visit:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : http://www.cdc.gov/knowhepatitisB
Ethnomed: Hepatitis Education resources available in Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin and Khmer.https://ethnomed.org/patient-education/hepatitis/hepatitis-patient-education-materials
Hepatitis B Educational Materials: https://www.ichs.com/health-education
Embed videos “Hepatitis B 101” digital stories ( and share on social media)
For more information about ICHS, please visit: www.ichs.com
Founded in 1973, ICHS is a non-profit community health center offering affordable primary medical and dental care, acupuncture, laboratory, pharmacy, behavioral health WIC, and health education services. ICHS’ four full-service medical and dental clinics — located in Seattle’s International District and Holly Park neighborhoods; and in the cities of Bellevue and Shoreline — serve over 20,000 patients each year. As the only community health center in Washington primarily serving Asians and Pacific Islanders, ICHS provides care in over 50 languages and dialects annually. ICHS is committed to improving the health of medically underserved communities by providing affordable and in-language health care. For more information, please visit: www.ichs.com