Public Health Model for Prevention of Liver Cancer Among Asian Americans
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- Juon, HS., Strong, C., Oh, T.H. et al. J Community Health (2008) 33: 199. doi:10.1007/s10900-008-9091-y
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Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) account for over half of the 1.3 million chronic hepatitis B cases and for over half of the deaths resulting from chronic hepatitis B infection in United States. There are very few studies published about hepatitis B virus (HBV) data in the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. In 2003, the Hepatitis B Initiative-DC (HBI-DC) worked closely with a large Korean church, located in Vienna, Virginia. Their partnership included a pilot-test of a faith-based HBV program, which educates, screens and vaccinates for the HBV. This pilot program was later expanded to include a total of nine Korean and Chinese American churches in this region, plus a Pastor’s Conference targeting Asian American pastors from around the United States. During 2003–2006, a total of 1,775 persons were tested for HBV infection through the HBI-DC program. Of all the participants, 2% (n = 35) were tested HBV positive (HbsAg+, HbsAb−), 37% (n = 651) were HBV negative but protected (HbsAg−, HbsAb+), and 61% (n = 1089) were unprotected (HbsAg−, HbsAb−). Most of these unprotected individuals (n = 924) received the first vaccination. The proportion of the second vaccination was 88.8% (n = 824). About 79% completed 3-shot vaccine series. Our study contributes to the literature by providing an overview of the hepatitis B unprotected rate among Asian American adults. It indicates that culturally integrated liver cancer prevention program will reduce cancer health disparities in high risk immigrant populations.