Hepatitis B is a viral infection that primarily targets the liver and spreads through blood and bodily fluids. It can cause acute or chronic hepatitis, leading to liver damage and potentially liver cancer. Acute hepatitis B typically resolves within a few months, but chronic hepatitis B necessitates long-term antiviral medication or even a liver transplant. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).
Chronic hepatitis B is often referred to as a ‘silent killer’ because it can go undetected for years and gradually harm the liver without noticeable symptoms. This is primarily due to the lack of specific early symptoms, slow disease progression, and an increased risk of liver cancer associated with the virus. Additionally, the lack of awareness, routine screening, and cultural stigma contribute to its silent nature.
Chronic hepatitis B disproportionately affects Asians and Pacific Islanders. Globally, approximately 296 million people are chronically infected, with a higher prevalence in the Western Pacific and African regions. In the U.S., despite Asians and Pacific Islanders comprising only 6% of the population, they account for over half of the estimated 862,000 people living with chronic hepatitis B. This population also faces higher rates of liver cancer, often linked to untreated hepatitis B infections.
To combat the high rates of hepatitis B in the Asian population, Chinese Hospital clinics have been providing hepatitis B services, including vaccination, testing, and treatment, for over 25 years. In recognition of our efforts, we are selected to receive the Hepatitis B Demonstration Project Grant from California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to establish demonstration projects for innovative, evidence-informed approaches to improve the health and well-being of the most vulnerable and underserved Californians living with or at risk for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, for the next three years. This significant support empowers us to deliver culturally competent and linguistically appropriate education and resources to those in need.
CCHP is committed to promoting preventive care and empowering individuals to take control of their well-being. As part of this commitment, CCHP members have the benefit of accessing hepatitis B vaccines and screening (blood test).
Article provided by Chinese Hospital.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek advice from your physicians or other qualified health provider.