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APHA Annual Meeting, October 2008 - Poster Presentation

Hepatitis B infection in Fujianese immigrants of New York City: Assessment of risk exposures, knowledge and practices 

BACKGROUND: The burden of HBV infection disproportionately affects Chinese populations in NYC, particularly Chinese immigrants from Fujian province, an area reported to have the highest HBV infection rate in China, average 17.1% and can be as high as 27.5% in coastal regions. Little information is available among young adults in this population regarding their risk exposures, knowledge, attitudes and practices towards hepatitis B.

METHODS: 698 Fujianese aged 18-30 participated in a community-based large-scale screening conducted by Asian American Hepatitis B Program (AAHBP) during 2005-2007 in NYC. All screening participants were asked to take a survey before blood testing. Trained Chinese interviewers collected the surveys by reviewing the questionnaires with participants.

RESULTS: Risk Exposures: 28.9% reported having a family member HBV-infected: Mother (7.1%), spouse (10.8%), other family contact (25.4%). Sexual risk behavior was another major exposure: 6.7% reported having unprotected sex with known HBV-infected person. 6.7% of men reported to have tattoo. Knowledge: Overall knowledge was low with a mean score of 29 out of maximum100. Healthcare Practices: Increased knowledge was significantly related to prior HBV testing or vaccination, and willingness to open discussion with families or friends, and seek follow-up care or treatment if diagnosed with HBV infection. Those who had a regular doctor did not show higher knowledge.

DISCUSSION: Given the implication of hepatitis B to Fujianese immigrant population in NYC, we found the level of hepatitis B knowledge among this population is not sufficient to influence their good practices towards hepatitis B. Further education is much needed.

Learning Objectives:
· Understand risk exposures, knowledge, attitudes and practices towards hepatitis B in specific API subgroups.
· Apply knowledge of these factors to future HBV outreach and educational programs.

 

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